New Year’s cybersecurity resolutions for 2019

New Year’s cybersecurity resolutions for 2019

As 2018 draws to a close, there’s no better time to reflect on your life and plan what you want to achieve in the coming year. Most people’s resolutions are usually generic: lose weight, read more, and pick up a new hobby. But if you run a business that relies on IT in any capacity, your resolutions will be vastly different from the majority of the population.

This year was not great in terms of cybersecurity, mainly because of careless employee practices and outdated systems. So if you want your business to survive and thrive in 2019, here are some cybersecurity resolutions you should add to your list.

Provide security training

Phishing attacks and online scams are common tactics used to steal information and distribute malware. Training your employees to spot these attacks can go a long way in keeping you safe. They should also be aware of the threats they inadvertently cause due to unsafe practices like visiting harmful websites, leaving their devices unattended, and oversharing personal information on social media.

“Why don’t we show everyone our passports? That’ll be fun.”

Regular security training will mitigate these risks, but it has to stick. Besides lecture-style training seminars, consider conducting fun practical exercises, drills, and simulated attacks to make things more interesting.

Set strong password policies

Even though technology has rapidly evolved, people are still terrible at passwords. Most of them use weak, unoriginal passwords that are recycled across multiple accounts. If hackers manage to guess just one set of user credentials, they’ll be able to infiltrate your company network and steal your data.

Telling employees to manage their passwords better is not enough since they’ll always value convenience over security. But by establishing and enforcing password setting policies, you can minimize the chances of hackers hijacking accounts.

For instance, you can configure company accounts to prevent employees from setting passwords unless it’s 12 characters long and has a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. You should also implement a mandatory password reset every six months to keep attackers guessing. Constantly coming up with new passwords across dozens of accounts can be a nightmare, which is why you should use password management tools like LastPass.

Get vulnerability assessments

Vulnerability assessments uncover flaws and easy entry points into your system with a series of simulated attacks and stress tests. After the assessment, security experts will compile their findings and give expert recommendations on how you can keep your company safe.

“Okay, so the problem is you both disabled your firewalls.”

For example, if they notice that your networks are susceptible to denial-of-service attacks, they may recommend updating your firewalls or installing advanced intrusion prevention systems. Consider getting vulnerability assessments at least twice a year or when you’ve made major changes to your IT infrastructure.

Patch systems regularly

Software vulnerabilities are always being discovered. That’s why you should make a habit of patching all applications, operating systems, security software, and firmware on a weekly basis. To do this, keep a spreadsheet of all the software applications and versions every employee is using. Then, visit the software developer’s website to install the latest updates.

If you don’t have the time or the manpower to manage all this, consider working with a managed services provider that offers round-the-clock patch management services.

Back up data

Malware attacks cause extensive damage to your systems and data, and if you don’t have a backup plan, your bottom line will take a massive hit. Not only that, but you could also face noncompliance penalties and lawsuits if customer information was compromised.

Cloud backup solutions regularly store copies of your files in offsite locations, so if the worst does happen, you can rest easy knowing that you have another set of files available.

Keeping these New Year’s resolutions won’t be easy, but you don’t have to do it alone. Red Key Solutions provides robust cybersecurity and backup services to make sure your 2019 is problem-free. Call our New York office today to get started.