Time flies by so fast, and soon, it’ll be a new year yet again. Congratulate yourself on being able to keep your practice going despite so many looming external threats like ransomware and phishers! However, you must not rest on your laurels because cybercriminals sure won’t. Here are New Year’s resolutions your organization must make to continue enjoying cybersecurity in 2022.
Implement multifactor authentication
Passwords are becoming easier to crack by the day. To secure your data, implement multifactor authentication. This requires the account holder to perform an additional login step, such as providing biometric information or submitting a one-time passcode, to prove their identity.
At Pact-One, we make multifactor authentication easy for our clients. One of our most popular solutions is an app that sends push notifications which grant account holders access to the programs and systems they want to use.
Use unique and complex passwords for your accounts
If your organization can’t go passwordless yet, then everyone must use passwords properly. That is, you and your staff must create ones that:
- Have 8+ characters
- Include upper- and lowercase letters
- Use numbers and symbols
- Are unique from every other password you have
Creating and using passwords are so troublesome, which is why password managers are gaining popularity. However, these introduce a single point of failure, namely the master password. If someone’s master password gets stolen, then everything in their password vault gets stolen as well. Therefore, users must be extraordinarily careful in keeping their master password safe from cybercriminals. To make password management work for your company, talk to our network security experts.
Advise staff to watch what they share online
Identity thieves gather as much information about the person they’re going to impersonate so they can fool other people and the systems meant to thwart them. For instance, an employee may have used “What is the name of your first pet?” as a security question for one of their corporate accounts. If they’ve created social media posts about every pet they’ve ever had, then an identity thief will only have to scour through those posts to easily answer the question.
Therefore, you must advise your staff to think twice about posting anything on social media. Better yet, have them select who can see their posts (here’s how you can do so on Facebook). The less that people share online, the less information identity thieves can glean and use against them and your organization.
Restrict employees to secure websites
If the URL of a website begins with “https,” that means the connection between that site and a visitor’s device is encrypted. That is, all data exchanged will be a meaningless jumble of characters to an interloper. Sites that start with “http” don’t have this feature, making them less secure than those with "https." Therefore, you’ll do well to restrict staff to the latter type of websites. One way you can do this is by implementing a browser extension that’s designed specifically for this purpose (e.g., HTTPS Everywhere).
Keep your software up to date
App updates and security patches keep software safe and prevent malicious hackers from taking advantage of vulnerabilities. Once updates and patches are made available, users must apply them immediately lest cybercriminals get to the security gaps first.
Back up your mission-critical data
Mission-critical data refers to the data your organization needs to operate. If you can’t access it or lose your only copy of it, that may spell costly downtime, if not the ultimate doom for your company. Prevent these scenarios from happening by always having usable backups ready. This way, even if something like ransomware locks away critical data, you can fall back on your backup to keep your practice running and avoid paying any ransom. To learn more about backups, practice continuity, and disaster recovery, turn to our IT experts at Pact-One.
Partner with a cybersecurity expert
If your company is like many small- and medium-sized practices, then you don’t have the time nor the resources required to stay on top of cybersecurity. Fortunately, you can leverage Pact-One’s cybersecurity solutions to keep you safe from cyberthreats. Make us your IT partner, and we will ensure that you have a strong start to 2022. To learn more about what we can do for your practice, leave us a message today.