Guide: Mastering Cyber Security Awareness

Cybersecurity strategies are important security measures that all small and large companies should invest in.

Any business that utilizes a computer is at cyber risk for a security breach of all of their classified documents, information, and finances.

The importance of cyber security is even greater for small businesses as the National Cyber Security Alliance has stated that one out of five small businesses is affected by cybercrime during any given year.

Learning cyber security best practices helps prevent a business from falling apart, as 60% of small businesses go out of business after cyber security threats.

No matter how big or small, implementing cyber security awareness in business owners is the first step in guarding your company against an attack.

With our comprehensive guideline on cyber security best practices, you can begin to protect your company from cyber security threats and avoid a total security breach.

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Why Cybersecurity Strategies Are Important

All businesses, big or small, should learn cyber security in order to keep their businesses running. With virtually all businesses relying on computers networks, the need for cybersecurity tips only increases.

cyber security best practices

Why Cybersecurity Strategies are Important?

Cyber security best practices are necessary due to:

  • Unavoidable consequences. Outside of personal data loss, companies may also find themselves exposed to law enforcement agencies for negligence for lack of cyber security awareness. 
  • Loss of trust. Companies may also find that clients do not feel safe or protected due to the lack of cyber protection of their products.
  • Cyber crime is on the rise. Technology is continuously updating and improving, allowing hackers to learn new methods to overrun cyber defense.
  • Control damage. With the right cybersecurity tips, companies can easily prepare and defend against any cyber breaches and avoid negative consequences.

Cyber security threats are a real and ever-growing issue for tons of businesses. By acknowledging the importance of cyber security, you can minimize your company losses and prepare your cyber defense against attack.

Best Cybersecurity Strategies | Brief Comparison

Cybersecurity Best Practices

Strategy Goal

Apply Firewalls & Network SegmentationCyber defense
Create Role-Based Access ControlsLimit access to systems
Facilitate Employee Cyber AwarenessAvoid human error
Implement System LoggingCollect and report data
Implement Security PatchesUpdate security systems
Prepare Response PlanLimit the damage possible

Table: Top 6 Cybersecurity Tips | Above list is sorted alphabetically

FAQ Section

  • What is a cyber attack?

Without implementing cyber protection, malicious characters can potentially execute cyber security threats on your computer networks and resources.

This cyber risk can eventually turn into a DoS attack or man-in-the-middle attack.

With a DoS attack, cyber security threats will be made against your network service and Internet access will be compromised. A man-in-the-middle attack can be used to actively scope out your information and relay it to another party.

  • How can I learn cyber security?

The best way to learn cyber security is through the use of cyber security awareness tactics and installing cyber defense into your company.

  • How do the cyber security best practices work to protect my computer networks?

Cybersecurity best practices are technologies and initiatives that defend your network vulnerabilities against cyber security threats. These initiatives blockade and make it harder for your networks to be at cyber risk.

  • What are some of the best cyber security tips?

Some of the best cyber security tips involve staying on top of your cyber defense and understanding the importance of cybersecurity strategies and cybersecurity best practices.

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Apply Firewalls & Network Segmentation

The first step in cyber security awareness is to implement IT security measures that will enable cyber protection of all of your company’s sensitive data.

There are two main cybersecurity tips to follow through on cyber protection:

  • Employing firewalls
  • Building network segmentation

Detailed Overview of Applying Firewalls & Network Segmentation

Firewall Protection

cybersecurity tips

Cyber Protection – Firewalls & Network Segmentation

A firewall is a software program that is used to filter inbound and outbound traffic between different parts of the computer network and the Internet.

These are needed for cyber security awareness as they screen hackers, viruses, and other potential cyber risk factors.

The firewall is your main line of cyber defense against malware and other potentially dangerous situations that could arise from the Internet.

Network Segmentation

One of the cyber security best practices is network segmentation as it splits each computer network into smaller subnetworks.

As you learn cyber security, you’ll find that network segmentation improves security by placing secure data into various networks.

If a cyber risk should occur, you will only jeopardize one part of the network getting hacked as opposed to your entire system.  Cybersecurity best practices understand that hackers won’t try to bypass your firewall; instead, they will look to find the least secure system to access information from.

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Create Role-Based Access Controls

After looking into the above cyber security tips, your next best step toward cyber defense is to create role-based access controls.

If you were to let all of your employees access all parts of your network, then you would be leaving all of your secure data exposed while your employees complete a task.

Those with cyber security awareness understand that this is a problematic behavior that will make a hacker’s job that much easier.

There are three rules of role-based access that include:

  • Role assignment. Assigning the member of your workforce access to a designated network to complete predetermined tasks.
  • Role authorization. The employee must be authorized to access this network depending on the assignment they are completing, which prevents more than one network being accessed at a time.
  • Permission authorization. Your employees may need to be given permission codes to access other certain networks, but only if they have already been authorized to do so.

Detailed Overview of Creating Role-Based Access Controls

Role-Based Access Control

As one of the cyber security best practices, role-based access control allows you to grant or deny access to certain networks to specific employees.

This should be based on their specific job role, as an employee working in bookkeeping won’t need access to files in secretarial matters.

These cybersecurity strategies keep networks locked in place when not in use, preventing hackers from pushing their way through.

Former Employees

Business owners should also use cyber security awareness tools to work with Human Resources to remove network access for any former employees.

This is an easy way to prevent cyber risk from occurring after a contract has ended or an employee has resigned.

Standard operating procedures should be utilized in instances like these to defend against cyber security threats.

Facilitate Employee Cyber Awareness

Despite implementing the highest of cybersecurity strategies, there are always errors that could occur by employees making a careless mistake or feeding information to the wrong source.

cybersecurity strategies

Cyber Security Threats

One of the best cybersecurity tips is to raise employee awareness of cyber risk and how easy it is to taken advantage of by hackers. Training your employees to recognize a phishing email or phone call is the best cyber defense against cyber security threats.

Detailed Overview of Facilitating Employee Cyber Awareness

Social Engineering

No matter how advanced your cyber protection is, hackers are always working to find ways past your cyber defense.

One of the ways they’ve discovered to do this is through social engineering or phishing for information. Hackers can call your company and pretend to be an employee from the company asking for login information.

The importance of cyber security should be made clear to all employees before a hacker has a chance to engage in social engineering.

More Common Than You Think

Social engineering affected one-third of ICS operators around the world in 2015. Recently, Rogers Communications was found without cyber protection against a hacker who called in pretending to be an employee.

The employee voluntarily offered up key access information that otherwise would have been difficult to uncover.

Being aware of the possibilities of human error is one of the best cybersecurity tips for all businesses.

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Implement System Logging

Properly trained users and contractors are one of the best cybersecurity strategies that you can invest in.

However, one of the most important cybersecurity tips is to always be aware of activity happening throughout your networks.

This prevents you from being blindsided by an intruder attempting to pass through your cyber defense. Making use of system logging is one of the cyber security best practices.

Detailed Overview of Implementing System Logging

Monitor System Activity

As one of the cyber security best practices, system logging allows you as the business owner to be aware of all activity taking place on the computer networks.

This allows you to make sure that all of your users are making good judgment calls and are avoiding unauthorized acts.

With system logging, you’ll also quickly discover if an outside user has compromised your cyber defense.

Discover System Issues

Cyber security awareness means staying attentive to all activity that is happening on your networks.

As one of the most advantageous cybersecurity strategies, system logging allows you to instantly view a problem and determine the source.

You’ll know instantly whether an outside intruder or an internal mistake by one of the authorized users has compromised your cyber protection. This gives you ample time to battle the problem before it becomes more of a cyber risk.

Implement Security Patches

A big aspect of cyber security awareness is understanding that system updates are consistently necessary.

With technologies constantly evolving, hackers are always learning new ways to circumvent cyber protection that you’ve put in place to stop them.

One of the best cybersecurity tips is to constantly maintain security patches. The Home Depot, for example, experienced huge cyber security threats while in the process of implementing a security patch.

Their POS systems were hacked, and all of it could have been avoided with a properly installed security patch system.

Detailed Overview of Implementing Security Patches

Security Patches

Security patches monitor your networks to make sure that all of your cyber protection is up-to-date.

Patches can identify susceptible areas of your network, giving you the opportunity to fix the problem to avoid a cyber risk.

Cyber security awareness includes being aware of the defenseless parts of your network and taking the initiative to fix the bugs.

Auto-Updating Systems

For businesses and companies that are very large, one of the cyber security best practices is to invest in auto-updating security patches.

These systems will not only alert you to vulnerabilities within your networks but will also update and repair the problem to avoid cyber risk.

Auto-updating systems is one of the top cybersecurity strategies to prevent a potential hack.

Prepare Response Plan

No matter how many cybersecurity strategies you execute, you cannot avoid cyber security threats completely.

Putting together a response plan in the event of a hack is one of the cyber security best practices.

Detailed Overview of Preparing a Response Plan

Response Plan

In the event of a cyber security breach, one of the best cybersecurity tips is to have a response plan laid out.

Planning out the exact steps needed to take after a breach in security is the best way to close up any vulnerabilities quickly without allowing any more data to slip into the wrong hands.

A properly executed response plan will:

  • Limit the amount of damage incurred
  • Reduce recovery time
  • Keep customers’ happiness and trust

A response plan is a critical component of cyber security awareness and can make a huge difference in the livelihood of your company.

Practice Responses

One of the cyber security best practices to ensure cyber defense is to regularly put the response plan into action.

This involves practicing the response plan on several occasions and specifically outlining the steps needed to restore the network back to normal.

This will help you keep your network running smoothly as soon as possible after a cyber risk.

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Conclusion—Top 6 Cybersecurity Strategies

Taking the time out to put cybersecurity strategies into action is an important part of running any serious business.

Cyber security threats are a real danger to a company’s private data and can result in serious consequences that can forever negatively affect your business.

By learning the importance of cyber security, you can begin to acknowledge and use cybersecurity tips to set up your cyber defense.

With this comprehensive list as your guide, your cyber security awareness will improve as you begin to employ a strong cyber defense for your business.

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