Attacks on businesses have been on the rise in the recent past. Below is a cyber security awareness checklist to help businesses protect themselves and their employees' data. |
1. Are your patches always updated?
Always ensure the operating system you are using, whether Windows or Apple, is able to run its updates automatically. Regular and automatic updates to your patches will improve security by fixing bugs and enhancing the usability of the system.
The operating system on mobile devices like smartphones should also be updated. If left out of date, these devices may face security vulnerabilities.
2. Have you enforced strong password policies?
According to a report by Preempt, about 37% of small enterprises and 20% of mid-sized businesses use weak or shared passwords that expose them to risk of cyber-attacks.
To protect your company ensure you instil strong password policies that include:
• Changing passwords at least once every month • Not using the same password on multiple accounts • Setting strong passwords with a minimum of 8 characters which contain numbers of letters and special characters
3. Are your employees well trained?
Majority of data breaches occur due to human error. You should, therefore, ensure that your employees are well educated on cyber security awareness to reduce risks of phishing and social engineering.
Some of the best practices your employees should learn include recognising security risks, protecting your computer resources, and proper internet use, among others.
4. Are mobile devices well secured?
Most cyber-attacks target mobile devices. Devices like smartphones, laptops, and tablets have become more valuable for hackers probably because they give the attackers access to all your personal information.
There are many ways you can protect your devices from cyber-attacks. Some of the mobile devices security protocols every company should follow include encryption, setting password policies, and having screen locks for such devices. And in case a mobile device gets lost or is misplaced, then the IT department should be notified and delete remotely any data on the device.
5. Is your data adequately disposed of?
Your data and equipment should be disposed of appropriately to reduce chances of being recovered. All physical files containing confidential information must be shredded. The equipment and mobile devices, on the other hand, should be reformatted.
6. Do you have a backup, security, and recovery plan ready?
Cyber-attacks can be inevitable at times. It is therefore crucial that your business is prepared in the event you are attacked by having a disaster recovery plan. A good disaster recovery plan will ensure your business gets back on its feet in the shortest time and with little or no loss of productivity and data. Having a backup for your data assists with data retention which makes it a good starting point for your recovery plan.
7. Is Network access restricted?
All devices that access your company’s network can expose your business to risks of cyber-attacks. Consequently, these devices should be able to lock the screen automatically after a given duration of idle time. This action will prevent unwanted people from accessing their devices.
8. Do you run antivirus programs?
You should run anti-virus programs, check for anti-virus updates as well Domain Name System filters on all your devices.
The anti-virus programs should always scan the devices on a regular basis. Besides, they should scan all external devices that get inserted into your computers.
Cyber security awareness is essential for every organisation to help protect company data and networks. While not conclusive, the above cyber security awareness checklist should help you to stay protected and keep cyber attackers at bay.
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