How's Your Cybersecurity Hygiene?

When thinking about the best way to articulate defense tactics against the cyber bad guys, I was struggling with an analogy that would really resonate. The thought came to me as I was brushing my teeth the other day, hygiene! Having a strong security posture is basically like having a good hygiene routine.

We all know the boxes we need to check each day: shower, shave, brush our teeth, wash behind our ears, moisturize. That exact mindset can and should be applied to cybersecurity in our organizations. Here are a few boxes to check to make sure your proverbial teeth don't fall out.

energy industry cyber attack 2

Layered Security Measures

A layered security approach simply stated is multiple stacked components to protect your operations. The purpose of a layered security approach is to make sure that every individual defense component has a backup to counter any flaws or gaps in other defenses of security.This could be network device components such as:

  • Firewalls
  • Email security appliances
  • Traffic-aware access points
  • Application-aware routers

This can also include soft components such as antivirus software, DNS security, access controls, and network segmentation. 


Regular Risk/Vulnerability Assessments

Think of this as the once over you do in the mirror to make sure everything is up to par. Regular risk and vulnerability assessments can help your team to recognize mistakes or blind spots.


95% of cybersecurity breaches happen due to human error.

Creation and Testing of a Disaster Recovery Plan

Here's a scary stat.. More than 77% of organizations do not have a cybersecurity incident response plan and more than half of those organizations (54%) do not test this plan at all.

This means that only 12 in 100 companies have and actively kick the tires on their disaster recovery plans. That's terrifying.


Continuous Education

Like it or not, 95% of cybersecurity breaches happen due to human error. The absolute best way to mitigate your risk is to train your folks on what's safe. Yes, I'm the guy that advocates for more mandatory training; I'm sorry.


Patch/Upgrade Management

Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 (SP1 & SP2) went end of life on January 14th of this year. I know there are some of you out there that still need to pay down that technical debt. I see you!

Jokes aside, ensure your antivirus software, operating systems, application software are kept up to date.


Cyber Insurance

You have insurance to protect your physical assets, and now it’s time to get insurance that will cover your computer systems and data. Cyber insurance will help protect you against electronic threats that can result in stolen or damaged data as well as expensive liability and recovery costs.

This is by no means the definitive checklist to protect your organization, but it may be a good place to start the conversation. It is also important to remember that there is no silver bullet to security; however, the best thing you can do is run faster than the guy next to you if you catch my drift.


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