Why cyber hygiene should be a top priority

Cyber attacks are on the rise

With cybercrime damages expected to cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021, this evolving issue shouldn’t be taken lightly. Threat actors continue to develop new ways to attack organizations, though less than 50% of companies are prepared for a cybersecurity attack.

That’s where cyber hygiene comes in.

By maintaining the security and upkeep of your organization’s systems, devices, and procedures – whether that’s through secure corporate communication or purchasing cyber liability insurance, among other options – you greatly lower your chances of falling victim to a cyber attack.

The initial step: supply chain risk management

Cyber threats are lurking everywhere. That’s why it’s important to do everything you can to limit your organization’s vulnerabilities. Through supply chain risk management, you can maintain a strong network of trusted vendors while securing your end-to-end supply chain. This strengthens your organization’s physical security and helps protect against potential cyber attacks.

It’s important to communicate and work closely with your partners and vendors, to get an in-depth understanding of their data and privacy protection policies. After all, the highest level of resilience against cyber threats isn’t achieved alone. It happens when everyone involved commits to upholding best practices.

You can establish this dialogue by asking your vendors and partners the following questions, which are discussed in detail on our Network of Trust page:

  • How transparent are my vendors with vulnerabilities?
  • Do my vendors prioritize security in the development of their products?
  • Do they have a comprehensive strategy in place to close security gaps and vulnerabilities?

Asking these questions puts your organization in the best position to prevent, and in the worst case respond to, a cyber attack.

Learn why cyber hygiene is so important in our new blog post

Detecting suspicious communications

Threat actors use social engineering campaigns – like phishing attacks or pretexting – to bait you into unknowingly providing sensitive information, giving them access to your private data. For that reason, ensuring that all your employees can effectively detect and avoid suspicious communication attempts is vital to your organization’s physical security.

While mistakes happen, keeping an eye out for unusual communication requests, and thinking before you click on any links or messages, are some of the ways that you can help to protect your organization against cyber attacks.

Providing consistent user education from the start

Since the repercussions of a cyber attack can have a long-lasting negative impact on your organization — whether it be in the form of a financial hit or data loss — providing consistent user education to your employees is an investment that goes a long way.

Educating your employees on cyber hygiene is an ongoing task that should begin during their onboarding. By explaining the importance of strategies like strong password selection, locking devices, and identifying social engineering attacks, your organization can limit the chances for human error while maintaining best practices.

Adding financial protection with cyber liability insurance

There are as many as 12 different types of coverage available for cyber threats, which means that you’ll have to do some research before finding a cyber liability insurance package that can meet your organization’s needs. With cyber attacks on the rise, investing in the right package should be an essential part of your cybersecurity strategy.

Because such a wide range of options are available, reading the fine print is a key part of your insurance selection process, as that’ll determine the exact coverage that you’d receive in the case of a cyber attack.

Alongside a careful selection process, understanding the claims process for your package is important, to help prevent added confusion and stress in the case of a cyber attack.

While cyber liability insurance is a good way to help mitigate the financial risk of cyber attacks, vetting your vendors, partners, systems, and devices, and establishing an effective cyber risk mitigation plan are all equally-essential steps to protecting your organization against cyber attacks. Always remember that any vulnerability is one too many.

Good cyber hygiene is a team effort

Cyber hygiene isn’t only about securing systems and devices, but it requires time and attention to many aspects of your organization. Because your physical security system is only as secure as the least trusted device connected to it, there isn’t much room for error. Focusing on maintaining strong cyber hygiene through supply chain risk management, secure exchanges, user education, and cyber liability insurance are some of the key ways that you can protect your organization against evolving cyber threats.

Learn more about how to build a strong physical security foundation by checking out our Trust Center, which features a wide array of relevant information and resources at your disposal.

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About the Author

Mathieu Chevalier

Mathieu Chevalier, Lead Security Architect, Genetec Inc.

More content by Mathieu Chevalier

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