Fun fact: almost every politician has suggested improving cyber hygiene, but in most cases, they don’t have the idea of what this means. 

I don’t blame them. And I don’t blame you either.

Cybersecurity and Cybernetic hygiene go hand by hand. But they aren’t the same.

That’s why we’re going to talk about today. Its definition, importance, and best practices. 

What is Cyber Hygiene and Why is it Important?

Cyberattacks won’t stop happening anytime soon, and only we can stop these violations. Cyber Hygiene is one of the ways you keep the bad guys out.

“Cyber Hygiene must be addressed in the same way we address personal hygiene: Simple, daily routines, proper behaviors, and occasional checks to guarantee organization’s health.” – Says the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA).

Every continent has its point-of-view, but they mostly agree on this definition.

So, by this definition, we understand that it consists of simple and frequent cybersecurity protocols that must be taken into place. 

Your company needs it as well (at least, if you want to avoid being hacked).

And take into account that this is not IT’s mission alone. 

Every employee must understand basic cyber hygiene practices to protect the confidential information of the company, its clients, and users. 

What happens when you just ignore it?

  1. Data corruption or loss, due to disorganization. 
  2. Exposure of Confidential Information and Commercial Secrets.
  3. Identity Theft.
  4. Industrial Espionage.
  5. Bad Reputation on Market.

So far, we could say that cyber hygiene best practices are just cybersecurity best practices, as well. 

The Internet Security Center controls are a great place to start. 

Best Practices & Essential Habits to Stay Safe Online

These divide into three groups to guarantee an effective defense of your company:

Basic Controls

1) Inventory and Control of Hardware Assets

2) Inventory and Control of Software Assets

3) Continuous Vulnerability Management

4) Controlled Use of Administrative Privileges

5) Secure Configuration for Hardware and Software on Mobile Devices, Laptops, Workstations, and Servers,

6) Maintenance, Monitoring, and Analysis of Audit Logs

Foundational Controls

7) Email and Web Browser Protections

8) Malware Defenses

9) Limitation and Control of Network Ports, Protocols, and Services

10) Data Recovery Capabilities

11) Secure Configuration for Network Devices, such as Firewalls, Routers, and Switches

12) Boundary Defense

13) Data Protection

14) Controlled Access Based on the Need to Know

15) Wireless Access Control

16) Account Monitoring and Control

Organizational Controls

17) Implement a Security Awareness and Training Program

18) Application Software Security

19) Incident Response and Management

20) Penetration Tests and Red Team Exercises

This checklist of checklists if among the best you can find to guarantee proper cyber hygiene in your organization. 

I do recommend you to check it out with your IT team or with our cybersecurity certified experts. Either way, you must know when cyber hygiene is working and when it is not.  

This is how.

How to Measure Your Own Cyber Hygiene

This quantitative calification will show you if you are risking the life of your company, or if everything is under control 

The higher your security rating, the better your organization’s cyber hygiene is.

And every time your team measures it, it must be done with dynamic and objective data.

The analyzed data includes: 

  • Susceptibility to man-in-the-middle attacks
  • Insecure SSL / TLS certificates
  • SPF, DKIM, and DMARC settings
  • HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS)
  • Phishing risk
  • Susceptibility to malware
  • Network security
  • Known data breaches and data leaks
  • HTTP accessibility
  • Secure cookie settings
  • Smart security questionnaire results

All the previous steps and data to study might present a challenge to you if you’re completely alone on this.

Although many cybersecurity tools will help you to clean the bush out, still nothing will guarantee you don’t fall on some type of malware attack.

This is why it’s important to understand what it takes to keep peace of mind. 

And that’s what we are up to. 

Do you want a cybersecurity team of experts to protect your business assets, all the time?

It has been said.
An expert will guide you for the next steps.