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Mar 03, 2019 BY Tim Foley

Cyber Hygiene: Address the Little Stuff to Stop Big Problems

Deloitte. Twitter. Under Armour. Equifax. What do they all have in common aside from being multibillion dollar companies? They all put the phrase “There’s no such thing as bad publicity” to the test when they got hacked in recent years due to poor cyber hygiene caused by missing the little things. Sure, they brushed their teeth twice a day, but in forgetting to floss, they developed a massive cavity that cost each of them millions of dollars. Don’t wait for a cyber attacker to take advantage of cavities in your environment before you notice your security posture. Through good cyber hygiene practices and a proactive security posture, you can avoid a costly cyber breach.

What is Cyber Hygiene?
Cyber hygiene means doing the little things consistently and correctly every time to minimize your threat surface. It’s taking the time to ensure you’re not providing a malicious attacker with the opportunity to take advantage of gaps and vulnerabilities in your network. This can be done by asking yourself these questions:

  • Is my anti-virus and anti-malware software running the latest definitions? 
  • Are my operating systems on both servers and workstations patched and up-to-date? 
  • Are my firewalls updated with the latest patches and firmware? 
  • Are my virtual hosts patched and updated? 
  • Are my third-party applications patched? 

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, you may want to consider evaluating your cyber hygiene. 

Trust, But Verify.
Trust, but verify are great words to live by, especially with regard to cyber security. If Equifax had verified all the items on the checklist above, they would have realized one of their web applications had a critical vulnerability patch available. Unfortunately, Equifax didn’t verify this patch update, and left the application vulnerable for several months before hackers took advantage of their oversight. The simple act of verifying that all critical patches and updates were applied not only to operating systems, but also to their applications would have prevented 143 million people from being exposed. 

You’re Not Alone.
Maybe you know your company doesn’t have the best security posture, or maybe you don’t. Maybe you have a security solution in place, but realized you can be more proactive. Wherever you stand on cyber security, don’t worry. You’re not alone. Some of the biggest companies in the world can succumb to a cyber breach, and as breaches become more prevalent, what likelihood do you think your company has of being breached, too? 

How Do I Improve?
You don’t wait until you have an unbearable cavity to go to the dentist, and, in the same way, you don’t want to start thinking about security best practices until after a hacker breaks into your network. In addition to the checklist, there are a number of network assessments that will help you understand your current security posture, including: 

  • Security Gap Assessment – Provides your company with an in-depth look at your current security posture, a customized and strategic roadmap comprised of short and long-term milestones, and a plan of action to achieve your security goals
  • Vulnerability Assessment – Provides insight into the stability and security of your network, as well as transparency within the internal and external perimeters of your network 
  • Edge Assessment – Designed to help you understand your threat landscape and how to secure your firewall
  • Customized Action Plan – We work with your business to develop a customized plan and roadmap specific to your organization

We’re here to help you. If you want to be proactive and gain a better understanding of cyber hygiene and how to improve your security posture, contact us and we’ll gladly help. Don’t wait for an attacker to take advantage of poor cyber hygiene.

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