Significance of Maintaining Good Cyber Hygiene

Best Practices for Maintaining Good Cyber Hygiene

As much as everyone’s own hygiene is important, so is your cyber hygiene. And the sooner everyone realizes its importance, the better. The world has ushered into a new age of cyber attacks. Day in and day out, we see a bombardment of malicious hackers trying to get their hands on confidential information of users. To mitigate this, end-to-end security testing services become important to avail along with maintaining robust cyber hygiene. Some key notions that should be taken into consideration are elaborated in the coming sections.

Key Pain Points to Remember

Cyber hygiene should be recognized as a core activity for keeping your product’s and organization’s security intact. As organizations attain a global digital footprint, the increased risk of compromised security comes along – many people have access to confidential information due to the expanded scope of operations. Although cyber hygiene advocates in following some general practices, it surely is more than that – a key facet under the umbrella of security testing services. Some key areas that can be compromised and need to be paid heed to, before delving into the best practices, are-

  • Data Breaches – One of the most common examples of having one’s cyber hygiene compromised is via data breaches. No longer do we live in a world where data is protected end-to-end. With organizations going global, data has become the most sensitive and vulnerable aspect which needs to be protected. With proper cyber hygiene measures in place, this can be mitigated easily – be it the loss of data or any misplaced data.
  • Obsolete Softwares – This becomes an added pain point for poor cyber hygiene. Outdated softwares become the target for malicious attackers to exploit information and data. This can also lead to malware attacks and compromise data. Updated softwares as well as robust antivirus security updates become important for maintaining good cyber hygiene.
  • Weak Passwords – A crucial pain point that comes into being along with data breaches is a weak password. More often than not, passwords become the first to get compromised due to poor security practices. This also includes not having a robust multi-factor authentication process in place – a cyber hygiene practice, delved into in the next section.
  • Outdated Network Infrastructures – Age-old network infrastructures can cause serious repercussions on an organization’s cybersecurity posture. Malicious attackers can easily attain a gateway into the obsolete systems – exploiting data and sensitive information. Continuous updates are required within network infrastructures for keeping them up-to-date with the latest models in the industry – for mitigating attacks and helping maintain a strong cyber hygiene environment.

Thus, these pain points call for stringent measures to maintain good cyber hygiene along with end-to-end security testing services. Certain practices come as a boon for keeping an organization’s security posture intact.

Best Practices for Maintaining Good Cyber Hygiene

A few best practices will always come in handy for maintaining good cyber hygiene. Organizations need to understand its growing importance – these best practices can become a starting point for many –

  • CIS Benchmarks – The Center for Internet Security has established some benchmarks against which organizations curate their own cyber hygiene standards. These are essentially internationally recognized standards – CIS Controls V7.1 which helps organizations keep their cybersecurity footprint intact. With certain IGs, i.e., Implementation Groups, CIS Controls help in analyzing risks and security vulnerabilities and effectively implementing solutions to mitigate these, using certain Sub-Controls.
  • OSINT – All the data is out there. When there is information available to everyone publicly, maintaining a robust security posture becomes imperative. Open-source intelligence, or OSINT, essentially points that data or information which is out there and can be exploited. Drawing a parallel with operational security, OSINT becomes imperative to ensure that an organization’s public information does not get exploited after a deeper and thorough analysis – which might put an organization’s goodwill at stake. IT and security professionals thus need to maintain their organization’s security posture by using OSINT as a means of achieving optimum operational security. This gives a clearer picture as to how an organization’s data can be exploited by malicious attackers – when the data is readily available at their disposal.
  • Zero Trust Model – As the name suggests, trust no one. Whenever there is an access operation triggered, this model helps keep the vulnerabilities away by providing an extremely robust authentication process. Identity verification, thus, becomes a key facet when it comes to the zero trust model. This can be carried out with various practices, be it the multi-factor authentication (requiring more than one-step verification) or microsegmentation (keeping fragmented access points from separate parts of a network). Thus, this helps in not just protecting systems from external attacks but also from the attacks within. With vast amounts of data present over the internet and cloud, implementing the zero trust model can surely help organizations create a robust security posture.
  • End-to-end Encryption and Back-ups – As a best practice, encryption becomes imperative – across the devices that an organization uses. This ensures security of your sensitive data pan-organization. Along with encrypting your data, taking constant back-ups is also important. In cases of any data breach or loss, backed up data can be retrieved easily.
  • Securing Network – To protect your network infrastructure against any attacks, ensuring regular updates and adopting latest technologies to mitigate such attacks, becomes a best practice as well. Network firewalls also play a crucial role for good cyber hygiene – protecting networks against external attacks or unauthorized access. As organizations are increasingly catering to a global audience, networks are dispersed across geographies – ensuring robust security patches is significant. Maintaining good cyber hygiene via continuous monitoring of the cybersecurity posture also becomes imperative for companies.
  • Cyber Hygiene Awareness – Today, cyber hygiene assessment is at an infancy stage – but its growth is important as ever. A crucial step for everyone is to acknowledge its existence and need, and then to build a powerful security footprint. Proactively advocating a good cyber hygiene assessment overall, would help organizations tackle any unwanted attacks through minimal but important efforts.

Organizations today need to consider cyber hygiene as an important facet for maintaining a robust security posture. With the right tools and strategy, cyber hygiene can become a part of the overall security processes. QA InfoTech, a Qualitest Company offers a niche in this domain. With a crucial exercise called the Red Team Assessment (RTA), we offer a comprehensive coverage of assessing an organization’s vulnerabilities, in an unbiased way – about the people, technology and profit. Our security experts don’t just excel in seamless penetration and security testing services but also help organizations analyze their security footprint through end-to-end cyber hygiene assessment.

 

About the Author

QA InfoTech

QA InfoTech

Established in 2003, with less than five testing experts, QA InfoTech has grown leaps and bounds with three QA Centers of Excellence globally; two of which are located in the hub of IT activity in India, Noida, and the other, our affiliate QA InfoTech Inc Michigan USA. In 2010 and 2011, QA InfoTech has been ranked in the top 100 places to work for in India.

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