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What Is Cyber Hygiene & How To Maintain It?

Updated: 6 days ago

Table of Contents -

  • What Is Cyber Hygiene

  • What are the Best Practices for Cyber Hygiene?

  • Benefits of Maintaining Cyber Hygiene

  • Key Takeaways

  • Conclusion

What Is Cyber Hygiene?

Cyber hygiene, also known as cybersecurity hygiene, is a set of routine actions that businesses and individuals take to keep users, devices, networks, and data safe.


Cyber hygiene aims to safeguard sensitive information and shield it from theft and attacks. The idea operates in a manner similar to personal hygiene. By taking preventative measures to help ensure it, such as flossing to reduce cavities and handwashing to stop the spread of disease, people can maintain their health. By adhering to precautionary cyber hygiene measures, organizations can maintain their health and avoid data breaches and other security incidents.


Creating sound habits involves practicing good cyber hygiene. Cyber hygiene refers to the practices that enable computers and other connected devices to operate at their peak efficiency. Cyber hygiene also makes it possible to quickly identify computer issues and fix them. Tasks include using network firewalls, installing antivirus software, and creating strong passwords that are updated frequently.


Professionals in cybersecurity help maintain the security of networks, operating systems, printing hardware, and other pieces of technology. Every device connected through an access point is weak. Good cyber hygiene helps protect against those vulnerabilities by accounting for various risks. By preventing malware and other attacks from breaching networks and devices, this practice aids both individuals and businesses in maintaining the security of their data.


Cyber hygiene practices
Check out the best practices to maintain cyber hygiene


What Are the Best Practices for Cyber Hygiene?

It's crucial to put best practices for cyber hygiene into action in order to protect and maintain your IT systems and devices. The list that follows isn't exhaustive, but it offers a good starting point.


Maintain Inventory of your IT Assets

Once inside your network, a criminal attacker will search for your company's most priceless assets in the same way a burglar searches for cash and jewelry. Therefore, it's crucial to keep track of your assets in order to know what needs to be protected. Anything deemed "business critical" is likely an asset for most organizations. These could include corporate financial data, customer and payment information, patents and copyrights, and proprietary source code, depending on the business. Find and categorize all the resources your company has, whether they are stored on-site or in the cloud, and determine who has access to them.


Update Software Frequently

Poor patch management essentially gives cybercriminals free access to systems. To reduce the risk of malware infiltrating your network, operating system and application patches must be applied frequently and promptly. One of the best lines of defense against data breaches and other security incidents is a robust patch management system.



Maintain Complex Passwords

A strong first line of defense against a variety of security threats is a complex password that is changed frequently. Regular users must use passwords that are at least 10 characters long (upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters), while administrative passwords must be at least 15 characters long and must be verified against password dictionaries already in existence. The second form of identification, such as a thumbprint or numeric code, is required for multifactor authentication, which adds an additional layer of security.


Implement Incident Response Strategy

To limit the damage and downtime caused by an attack, businesses of all sizes should have an incident response strategy in place. In just a few hours, an attacker can take control of a system and start moving laterally through a network, so it's critical to create a rapid response protocol that minimizes data exfiltration and hacker dwell time. Teams should periodically respond to simulated data breach incidents and assess how successfully and quickly they complete their response objectives in order to test the effectiveness of the plan.


Data Backups

Data should be regularly backed up, and backup procedures should be checked to ensure their integrity. It's crucial to regularly test the restoration procedure to make sure it's functioning properly.


Manage End-of-Life Systems

End-of-life systems are computer hardware and software that the manufacturer or developer no longer provides security updates and patches for. These pose a serious risk to the company and need to be immediately taken out of service.


Control Administrative Privileges

It's critical to restrict access to admin-level programs and systems to those who truly require it, as high-level administrative privileges represent one of the biggest security risks in any organization. The capabilities of standard users ought to be more constrained. For instance, they shouldn't be permitted to install applications on their laptops or mobile phones without administrative consent.


Benefits of Maintaining Cyber Hygiene

Cyber hygiene benefits people, both personally and professionally. Businesses and individuals who disregard cyber hygiene risk running into a variety of issues. In order for software and computers to function properly and prevent more serious issues like data loss due to corruption or hacking and misplaced data, maintenance is necessary.


  • The security of a company's data and customer information is maintained.

  • Maintains the performance of devices and computers.

  • Precautions are in place to avoid malware and ransomware.

  • Protection from phishing and other malicious activity

  • Find and fix any outdated administrative rights left over from previous workers, etc.

  • Find underutilized assets.

  • You can discover any unapproved software on a system.


Key Takeaways

  • Cybersecurity is a huge concern in the modern world, especially with the number of devices and people using the Internet.

  • Maintaining a good level of cyber hygiene can help protect businesses and individuals from having sensitive information compromised.

  • By taking some precautions and implementing a hybrid approach to cybersecurity that takes advantage of some off-the-shelf solutions and real-world best practices, you can keep your business secure while maintaining its operational efficiency.


Conclusion

The digital world is an increasingly important part of business, but it can also present a significant cybersecurity risk if not managed properly. The effects of poor cyber hygiene include a breach of sensitive data, identity theft, and increased vulnerability to other types of attacks.


Maintaining good cyber hygiene doesn't have to be hard. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. This guide has discussed the various aspects of cyber hygiene. To help you get started with cyber hygiene, we have provided resources that can help you recognize and mitigate the risks associated with cyber-attacks.


A cybersecurity program isn't something you do once and hope for the best. It must be maintained regularly and updated as new threats arise. When you integrate cybersecurity into your business operations, you can protect your data and your systems from attacks and reduce potential risks. Delivering secure IT infrastructure and applications, and training employees to do the same, is key to developing a comprehensive cyber security strategy that helps protect your business and its customers.


We hope you enjoyed this blog post. If you have any questions or concerns about cyber security, we are always excited to help you at iBovi Strategic Security. You can subscribe to our email list and get more such insights and important news and updates!


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