National Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Secure IT
The Department of Homeland Security is focusing on the theme of “Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT.” This week we’ll explain how your organization can “Secure IT” by adding security features and layered controls to better protect against cyber threats.
Secure Your Logins
We have logins for almost everything these days, from network systems to online news sites. And breaches of login credentials and other personal information continue to occur at an alarming rate.
That means it’s vital to take steps to secure logins at your organization.
- The humble password remains an important defense. Follow these three steps for stronger passwords at your organization.
- Consider how your organization can use multi-factor authentication (MFA, also known as two-factor authentication). MFA enhances security at sign-in by requiring a specific PIN, code, or other authentication in addition to the user name and password. Learn how MFA works, then use the Lock Down Your Login site for instructions on activating MFA for common software and websites.
- Remove login access promptly for former employees, contractors, and unnecessary service accounts.
- Limit the number of users with privileged access to your network and systems.
- Create and document a formal system for assigning and managing system access and review it regularly.
Secure Your Domain
Your organization’s domain name is central to your digital identity. And like any technology, it’s susceptible to cybersecurity risks. If your domain registration is compromised, your web presence may be used to commit cybercrimes.
Take these steps:
- Use a registry lock to prevent your domain from being transferred to another owner
- Secure your registrar login with strong passwords and multi-factor authentication (MFA)
- Review and update your domain contacts periodically
- Monitor for issues
Secure Your Remote Access
It’s important to consider the security of external access to your network and systems, too.
- Remote work can provide benefits for your organization and your employees. But it can also create new challenges as your network becomes decentralized. Start by using a secure remote access solution, like a virtual private network (VPN), limit who can remotely access your network, and require strong logins with MFA. Follow these detailed steps to help keep access and data secure for remote workers.
- Remote desktop protocol (RDP) is often used for working remotely and providing IT support. It’s convenient, but you also need to understand the risks of RDP and take steps to secure it.
DID YOU KNOW?
Data breaches are expensive: According to the “2019 Cost of a Data Breach Report” by the Ponemon Institute, the average cost per lost record is $150.
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