Cyber threats are not taking a break

March 30, 2020

Now’s the time to review these cyber hardening essentials

Risk management is necessary at the best of times. Right now, as the world faces this period of uncertainty, it’s no different. Businesses must ensure that systems are hardened, and cyber defenses are strong. 
In fact, just weeks ago, the United States’ Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued a cyber alert, telling individuals to remain particularly vigilant about scams related to the Coronavirus. 
The Canadian Center for Cyber Security warned that cyber threat actors were taking advantage of people’s heightened concern. They also published guidance on how to stay protected from phishing attempts
The United Kingdom’s National Cyber Security Center and the Australian Cyber Security Center shared best practices on how businesses can stay cybersecure while employees work from home. 
We’ve compiled our best practices and top cybersecurity resources below to help you better protect your organization. 
Cybersecurity best practices

7 ways to strengthen your cybersecurity posture right now

1. Adapt to work-at-home scenarios 

New cyber risks can emerge when employees access critical systems and information from a distance or use personal devices. To minimize possible threats, it’s important for organizations to adapt their network, systems, and policies so their teams can securely work from home. Educating employees about best practices for remote work can minimize potential points of entry and keep company resources and data safe. 

2. Make use of data encryption

Encryption helps you hide and protect data from unauthorized users and secures the communication between devices, clients and servers. When your data is encrypted, even if an unauthorized person or entity gains access to it, they will not be able to read it. 

3. Add authentication measures

 Authentication is a capability with your security system that determines if an entity is who it claims to be and verifies if and how that entity should access your system. It’s an important feature because it both prevents unauthorized access and ensures that your security personnel, and not something else, is accessing your system when they log in. 
There’s one important caveat— To do this and do this right, it’s best to use multiple layers of authentications such as username and passwords, tokens, certificates, and others. This is commonly known as multi-factor authentication, and it is really the best way to validate the identity of a user, server, or client app before granting them access to your data or systems. 

4. Review system authorizations

By using authorization capabilities, you can restrict the scope of activity within your systems by giving specific access rights to groups or individuals for resources, data, or applications. But sometimes, it can become one of those things that you set and forget. 
So, here’s a reminder— just because you gave John permission to manage cardholder credentials 6 months ago, doesn’t mean he should have that capability today. Taking time to review your user access privileges right now will help you ensure that your video and data stay safe, and your facilities, secured. 

5. Update device passwords

When was the last time you updated your device passwords? If you haven’t done this in a while, or perhaps, at all, now’s a good time to change them up. Since passwords can end up in the wrong hands or become known, it’s good practice to regularly modify them to ensure ongoing protection. 
A best-practice tip? Always remember to use strong passwords with lots of variation in characters, numbers, or symbols. The more creative you get, the less likely your passwords can become compromised.  

6. Use built-in maintenance tools

Conducting self-assessments on your system’s health is great. But when you’re juggling many tasks, it’s easy to push them aside for another day. Instead, depending on the system you have, you might be able to access tools designed to simplify these day-to-day maintenance tasks. 
If you’re a Genetec Security Center customer, for example, there are many built-in capabilities that help you keep your system running at peak performance. 
The System Availability Monitor (SAM) keeps watch over the status of your Genetec system components and alerts you to things like devices falling offline.
The Genetec Update Service (GUS) informs you when new product updates are available so you can make sure to have the latest fixes to counteract any known vulnerabilities.
You can also use the Security Score Widget to track the security of your system in real-time and follow recommendations to improve your score. 

7. Create a custom health dashboard

When keeping a close watch on your security system’s health, searching for information can slow you down. Instead, it’s much easier for users to have one central place where they can view all critical data and make faster, more informed decisions to minimize possible vulnerabilities. 
That’s why we offer Genetec customers the ability to create custom health dashboards within Security Center.
For instance, you can easily track all camera firmware upgrades by creating a simple bar chart in your dashboard. This quick visual snapshot will show you how many cameras have new firmware available and how many of these include a security fix. You can also add a pie chart to show how many devices are active, have an issue, or have fallen offline. 
What you monitor and how you craft your dashboard is completely up to you. This allows you to work more efficiently and keep an eye on key indicators that relate to the security of your security.

Need some additional guidance? We’re in this together. 

These are challenging times for everyone. So, we want to remind you that we’re here to help. 
If you’re looking for more information on what you can do to harden your security systems, visit our stream of cybersecurity resources.
Or, for more about our team’s approach to cybersecurity and privacy in the development of our solutions, check out the Genetec Trust Center.
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