Over the past two years, the world has been hyper-focused on personal hygiene. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but there’s been a pandemic doing the rounds. Regular handwashing and sanitising, wearing masks, and social distancing have become the norm, and these simple practices help to keep people safe.
But there’s another kind of hygiene that businesses should be concerned themselves with as well. One that has also been impacted by the Covid pandemic. One that can protect your business and keep your data safe. And that’s cyber hygiene.
What Is Cyber Hygiene?
In the same way that personal hygiene means taking simple steps every day to maintain your health and wellbeing, cyber hygiene involves making simple changes or doing regular checks to optimise cybersecurity, maintain network security, and avoid data integrity threats.
These could be steps that your business takes as a whole, such as putting network firewalls in place or routines that you encourage your employees to follow. And while cyber hygiene practices have always been important, the past two years have seen them becoming a critical aspect of any business’ security protocols.
Why Is Cyber Hygiene Important For Businesses?
The rise of Covid hasn’t just been dangerous to personal health and safety. Businesses have been severely impacted by the pandemic as well. Most companies around the world weren’t prepared for remote working at the start of 2020. But global lockdowns saw them needing to have their teams working from home regardless of their readiness.
Networks suddenly needed to allow for connections from home offices around the city, country, or world. This saw an increase in cyber attacks, particularly on small and medium enterprises, as attackers took advantage of newly introduced gaps in security.
Personal security practices also became more important than ever. In the past, what an employee did with their home computer was not much of a concern for a business. With employees suddenly making use of their home devices to access business resources, their personal protection measures became of paramount importance. Opening a dodgy email, even on a personal address, could now result in attackers gaining access to company networks and systems.
What Common Risks Can Good Cyber Hygiene Prevent?
While there are plenty of cyberthreats that pose a risk to businesses every day, there are specific risks that can be lessened, mitigated, or avoided altogether by putting simple cyber hygiene best practices in place:
There is no one miraculous way to avoid security breaches like hacks, phishing attacks, malware, and viruses altogether. If there were, trust us when we say that attackers would find a way around it. But, by implementing cyber hygiene practices, you can significantly reduce the risk of your business falling victim to a security breach.
Loss of data can have a crippling effect on any business, especially when personal information is lost to data breaches. By encouraging your employees to practice cyber hygiene as well, there is less chance that your business will be targeted by a data attack.
Plus, by implementing cyber hygiene measures for your business as a whole, by performing regular backups of your data to the cloud, for example, your business can mitigate the risk of data becoming irretrievably lost.
It’s not just attacks that can be avoided with thorough cyber hygiene. Backing your data up to the cloud on a regular basis, and forming routines around security hygiene in general, almost always results in fewer issues with human error.
When your teams are being careful about the emails they click, they are far more likely to pick up on a phishing email before becoming a victim to it. When employees are being careful about where and how they store their data, there are fewer cases of files becoming lost, deleted, or duplicated.
This is a problem that most businesses don’t even realise they have. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spoken to owners, managers, and team members who don’t install updates! You know those annoying notifications that pop up in the corner of your screen every few days? They’re there for a reason.
I’ve heard countless excuses that range from not having the time, to not understanding the point, to preferring the look and feel of older versions. But every piece of software, be it an anti-virus, an app, or an operating system, that doesn’t get updated regularly is putting your business at risk.
One of the first cyber hygiene practices that we recommend companies put in place is updating their software on a regular basis. In fact, it’s more than a recommendation – it’s a MUST. And when a company’s employees are all in one office, that’s easy enough to arrange – your IT department can go around updating everyone’s machines. But when you have a work-from-home or hybrid environment, it becomes even more important that your team members themselves are practicing good cyber hygiene and keeping their machines, devices, and software updated.
Time is a valuable commodity.
Finding the Right Partner for Cyber Hygiene
Cyber hygiene often relies on individuals taking the right precautions, and businesses putting measures in place to help them do just that. But this doesn’t mean that you have to tackle cyber hygiene on your own.
When you work with a holistic Managed IT Services partner like Solid Systems, you’re getting more than just the basics. We do so much more than managing your infrastructure and your cloud services. We work with you to mitigate risk and make you money, rather than seeing you spend it all. Oh, and we also help with your everyday IT support needs too.
Work with a partner who cares about your goals and helps you not just reach, but exceed them. Work with Solid Systems, and see cyber threat protection becoming a habit rather than a chore. Get in touch with us today to find out how we could be boosting your business and seeing you stepping confidently into the future.