5 Cyber Security Essentials

Published: February 15, 2024

Word on the street is that cyber security is really important. If that is not news to you, stick with me for a minute; if it is news, we are glad you are here! Knowing the importance of secure data is why we are going to explore easily implementable cybersecurity essentials for your organizations.

There is an ever-increasing threat in the technological landscape of cyber criminals causing harm to you and your organization through various methods, including phishing and cracked passwords.

Certain cyber security defenses are more costly and labor-intensive, and they are set up for an entire organization or require more technical know-how from a cyber security expert. However, some cyber security essentials are easy to implement right away.

Let’s explore just five of those cybersecurity essentials some more.

5 Cyber Security Essentials for Your Organization

1. Use complex passwords.

This is hands down the easiest way to bolster your cyber security, yet it is one of the areas that many people neglect. Don’t worry; we have all been guilty of simple passwords like ‘password123’ or ‘qwerty12345.’ If that is the case, this is something you can switch to right now. (Or maybe after reading the other cyber security essentials following this one.)

A few good rules of thumb for passwords that Microsoft recommends are:

  1. Use 12 or more characters long at minimum, and the longer, the better.
  2. Includes uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
  3. It does not include anything that can be found in the dictionary, such as names, characters, or organizations.
  4. Different from your previous passwords.

2. Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).

If you’ve been following our blogs, you will not be surprised by this one. Why do we mention it again? Well, it is just that important and so easy to do. Enabling MFA is another layer of security for your accounts and systems. While our previous point about a complex password is really important, MFA is another line of defense in case your password gets compromised.

There are several different types of MFA. Some sites and accounts include them if you turn on the settings. Once turned on, they send a code to your mobile phone or email address after you successfully enter your password. Some apps have additional capabilities, like approving a login with a push notification or generating a code that you type in after you correctly enter your password.

3. Install anti-virus on all machines that access company data.

Having an anti-virus installed on all of your machines is essential for cyber security, especially when it comes to securing your organization’s data.

Essentially, what anti-virus does is look for malicious code, or malware, to protect your device from damage that the code may cause.

There is also a next-gen, more advanced level of anti-virus called endpoint detection and response (EDR) that continuously monitors your device for malware as well. The primary difference between the two is that a regular anti-virus only detects malicious code; it is aware of every time the software developer discovers new malicious code and then pushes the remedy in a software update. In contrast, EDR has some advanced capabilities to detect malicious code even if it was previously unknown.

4. Protect every internet circuit with a firewall.

It is crucial to have firewalls installed on every internet circuit. As the name suggests, they put up a ‘firewall’ to keep out threats, just like a physical firewall is set up between units in a building to prevent fires from spreading. A firewall is just another layer of defense against cyber threats.

5. Adjust rules for location-based access.

Location-based access rules are essential to cyber security because they can help weed out internet traffic from countries known for cyber attacks on businesses. By restricting access to your organization’s home country and the primary countries you do business in, you can add another layer of security to your organization’s data and programs, increasing protection from ransomware and other cyber threats.

Cyber threats are very real and increasing in volume and sophistication. While there are many more precautions you can implement, these five cyber security essentials are just a few that you and your organization can take to bolster your security.

Looking for extra assistance with your cybersecurity? Our IT firm is always here to help.