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Cybersecurity isn’t getting any easier, but with a little bit of research and a few procedures, you can make it fairly stress-free. Today I’ll give you a checklist of things to make sure you’ve got ideas to keep your data and devices secure!

Checking the Right Boxes

Cybersecurity processes can take weeks or years to fully develop and you will still end up with a less-than-perfect plan. Why is this? The reason is that cybersecurity is a progression of things we do and the cyber threat landscape is constantly changing. The truth about cybersecurity is it’s about doing the right things for you and your clients’ needs and goals. Trying to do too much and stretching yourself thin or focusing on the wrong things can hurt more than it helps.

This is where a good checklist like this one comes into play. I’d recommend keeping it and referring to it regularly–just to make sure your cybersecurity processes are on track!

#1: Do you have a business continuity/disaster recovery plan?
Business continuity and disaster recovery plans are a great place to start because they make you think in a new way.

1. Do you have somewhere to run your business from if your building and facilities are gone? Short term – 1-2 weeks and long term 3 weeks to 2 years.

2. Inventory systems – do you know where important data is?

3. Prioritize systems – which systems, if gone, will put you out of business or really cramp your style of doing business.

4. What kind of backups of the vital systems are available?

5. Who do you order new equipment from to replace destroyed computers and servers?

6. Are there short-term manual processes that can be used for the first few days after a disaster?

7. What is the right order of bringing systems back online?

8. How will you restore your facilities after they have been rebuilt?

Answering these questions helps you know where to focus your cybersecurity processes.

#2: Do you always patch or update?
Patches and updates are crucial to cybersecurity processes because they fix things that are broken and let bad guys in. Remember to apply them as soon as you can or even automatically if you are comfortable with that. Employ a service provider to manage patches, updates and bug fixes. It’s too easy to say I’ll do it tomorrow, but we all know tomorrow never comes. Patching security hardware and updating security software is crucial to securing a computer system and network. Remember that firewalls, network switches, and anti-virus/anti-malware software are some of your first lines of defense and need to be patched as soon as possible.

#3: Is everyone on the same page?
Your biggest allies in cybersecurity and your biggest risks are you and your employees. Communicating your security values and encouraging good online and offline habits are a huge part of cybersecurity. Help everyone understand why it’s important to help and how they can help keep the company safe. Beating up employees when they make a mistake will destroy your cybersecurity plan. Help them be informed and safe in their personal computing lives and they will in turn help your business stay safe in this wild cyber landscape. If we have our employees looking out for bad stuff, then that’s more than just one person with two eyes helping to find bad actors!

These are just a few ways to keep your data and devices secure. For more cybersecurity tips, contact us today!

 

Todd Sheppard /// Centriworks Chief Information Officer

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