Three simple ways to harden your network

Three simple ways to harden your network…

The core of improving your cybersecurity readiness is to reduce exposure to the most common threats to individuals and systems.  This is referred to as “hardening your network”.

A few items of note that will greatly reduce cybersecurity risks include the use of an additional form of authentication, in case your password or credentials have been compromised.  Stop using user accounts with elevated privileges, thus limiting the number of unauthorized changes to your system and to continuously communicate new cybersecurity risks to employees.

  • Enable multi-factor authentication on all accounts.
    • Access to websites and applications has long been protected solely by a password. However, in the current cybersecurity environment, additional measures must be taken to secure accounts. Otherwise, if an employee is phished or shares their password, the account is at risk of an unauthorized logon.
    • To prevent unauthorized access, multi-factor authentication should be enabled on all supported websites and applications. Free solutions, such as Google Authenticator and SMS, often prompt upon each logon attempt. Enterprise solutions, such as Duo and Okta, allow companies to define when a user is challenged for their multi-factor authentication code.
  • Use a separate administrator account.
    • Network administrators frequently use the same account to check emails, surf the Internet, and purchase items online. To prevent an administrative account from becoming compromised, it is recommended to create a separate account that’s only used for admin-related tasks.
  • Educate employees about cyber risks.
    • While there is always a risk of insider threats, most security incidents are caused by a mistake. A security incident may occur due to a system misconfiguration, falling for a phishing email, or leaving a door open.
    • Rather than relying solely on technical solutions to protect the network, employees should be considered your social firewall. When employees are trained on how they can protect the network, an organization’s risk is greatly reduced. It’s important for employees to perceive cybersecurity as a mindset rather than as just a solution.

 

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