10 Best Cybersecurity Tips & Practices in 2024 From Experts
Everyone’s heard of the essential “Be prepared!” motto all IT support companies repeat over and over.
But what exactly does being prepared look like in 2024?
Cybersecurity Best Practices
Here’s a closer look at what the top cybersecurity training companies are saying, with a quick list of all the best practices you can implement for your business. As an MSP focusing on Cybersecurity, we also invited Ed Griffin, one of our ITS partners, to weigh in with his advice for cybersecurity implementation.
1. Work with a Zero Trust mindset.
Take your trust issues to the next level by including your IT network in your suspicions. Kidding aside, a Zero Trust mindset means treating every piece of information you get warily. There are no “100% safe” interactions out there.
Zero Trust means following Zero Trust Network Access protocols. Work under the assumption that people are out to get you - even if you’re a small business! Small businesses are much more likely to be hacked because they think they’re too small to be targeted.
2. Watch out for phishing scams.
You’ve probably already heard about phishing. It’s old news. But what isn’t old is the sheer amount of hacking attempts cybercriminals are pumping out. According to Norton, phishing scams have reached an all-time high and are the number one threat to businesses nowadays.
Most companies prepare for ransomware, identity theft, and malware, but it’s time for businesses to invest more in security measures against phishing scams. Phishing scams are often caused by human error, and as you probably know, your employees are your system’s most vulnerable security breach.
3. Invest in privacy, identity, and device protection.
The cybersecurity company McAfee strongly recommends investing in the following security aspects of your business:
- Privacy protection - keeping personal information out of the hands of others, whether they’re well-meaning advertisers or possible hackers
- Identity protection - involves the prevention of identity theft
- Device protection - the beefing up of the devices’ security through firewalls, anti-virus programs, and endpoint protection
Your privacy, identity, and devices are goldmines of information - which translates into dollar signs for hackers. Investing in their protection is a smart choice, especially considering the consequences of a data breach.
4. Follow a cybersecurity framework.
Organizations whose sole task is to analyze the cybersecurity landscape or protect national interests from cyber criminals create cybersecurity frameworks. These frameworks are great starting points for your cybersecurity programs. Some examples of cybersecurity frameworks and guidelines are:
- The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) framework
- The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) guidelines
- HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and & Accountability Act) Guidelines
“Many businesses also underestimate the scope of IT,” Edward Griffin said. “It’s not just about installing and patching Windows. It’s strategic, too, right? People can’t just be running around fixing software issues or network issues. They also need to be talking to business leaders.”
By following a cybersecurity framework, you’re automatically following a strategic path laid out for you.
If you are also in a high-risk industry like healthcare, finance, and national defense, you must follow industry-specific cybersecurity standards. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself facing heavy fines in the future.
5. Conduct frequent and updated Employee Security Training.
Another common piece of advice among cybersecurity companies is to improve your team’s security savviness. Empowering employees to protect their - and your - data makes you immediately less likely to experience a data breach.
Your staff is your most significant security risk, but if they have clear instructions about data handling and the consequences of data mismanagement, you can rest easy.
6. Keep your IT equipment up to date.
The older a piece of equipment is, the larger the chances someone’s figured out how to hack into it. Thus, security program developers are constantly releasing security patches. Without the latest updates, you’re at a higher risk of a security breach.
7. Use multi-factor authentication (MFA).
If you aren’t using multi-factor authentication, you’re missing out on one of the best endpoint security tools. It is often free, easy, and secure to use and should be added to all your most important accounts. Many banks, shopping apps, and email services offer MFA to protect your data, and implementing MFA immediately makes your accounts less appealing to hackers.
But cybersecurity companies also warn that not all kinds of MFA are created equal. It’s always better to use an authenticator app instead of one of the other types of MFA; keep this in mind when setting up MFA for your business.
8. Monitor the dark web for compromised credentials or information.
If you’ve been hacked, criminals will most likely broker your information on the dark web (a completely anonymous part of the internet that you can only access via special software). You’ll need an IT expert to dive deep into the leaked data.
If you don’t have an IT expert, websites like haveibeenpwnd (Have I Been Pawned?) are reliable sources to check if your email credentials have been compromised.
9. Invest in cyber insurance.
Cyber insurance is the safety net for your business, providing access to resources that will help you manage the consequences of a security breach. While you and your tech team are already probably doing everything within your power to keep your business safe, it’s never a bad idea to get cyber insurance.
10. Use reliable password managers.
Part of protecting your online presence is through the use of strong passwords. Unfortunately, many people sacrifice password strength to keep the passwords easy to remember. A reliable password manager solves this problem, allowing users to add complexity without losing log-in information.
Need help implementing top cybersecurity practices?
Following the advice from top cybersecurity companies will lead you to successfully keep your data safe. But, if it were indeed that easy, everyone would be doing it despite how easy it might seem.
You and your IT team probably have unique obstacles to overcome when establishing these cybersecurity practices. As a cybersecurity and managed IT provider, we know how hard it is to pinpoint and deal with these security gaps. Take the first step to solving your cybersecurity problems by getting a free cybersecurity assessment today.