Cultivating digital resilience: The crucial role of cyber hygiene, Part 1

In this climate of pervasive security threats and attacks, good cyber hygiene can bolster your organization's defenses, protect sensitive data, and build digital resilience.

Cybercrime is pervasive in the digital age, with cybercriminals constantly changing and advancing their techniques. In response, cybersecurity strategies must be proactive and adaptive. It isn’t enough to combat cyberthreats; organizations must work to maintain good cyber hygiene.

What is cyber hygiene?

We all understand the importance personal hygiene habits like washing hands and flossing to support physical health. Cyber hygiene habits are a set of practices to help fight against cyber threats, protect sensitive information, create resilience in digital systems, and enable a healthy, secure digital environment.

Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of good cyber hygiene habits, and the role they play in fortifying an organization's defenses.

Safeguarding sensitive data

At the heart of cyber hygiene lies the protection of sensitive data. All organizations deal with confidential information, from employee data to proprietary business plans. Cyber hygiene practices like encryption, regular backups, and access controls shield this valuable information from unauthorized access.

Preventing data breaches

Security incidents, like data breaches, can have severe consequences. They tarnish reputations and lead to crushing financial costs. Cyber hygiene best practices like regular security audits build a robust defense against potential breaches.

Mitigating insider threats

Insider threats, even when they aren’t deliberately criminal, put organizations’ systems and data at risk. Cyber hygiene measures, such as least privilege access, minimize the impact of insider threats to help maintain a secure digital environment.

Adapting to evolving threats

Today’s cybercriminals are dynamic, using sophisticated and evolving technologies to breach defenses. Regularly updating security protocols and staying aware of emerging threats help organizations adapt to the ever-changing threat landscape.

Ensuring regulatory compliance

In a time of stringent data protection regulations, good cyber hygiene is essential to ensure regulatory compliance. Organizations need measures such as data encryption and incident response plans to meet the requirements of data protection laws and standards.

Preserving business continuity

Cybersecurity incidents disrupt business operations, leading to downtime and loss of productivity. Cyber hygiene measures, including disaster recovery plans and regular system backups, help preserve business continuity by minimizing the impact of potential disruptions.

How can organizations ensure good cyber hygiene?

Good cyber hygiene results from a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy that incorporates the following best practices.

Build a security-conscious culture

Good cyber hygiene requires continuous education and awareness. Employee training on cybersecurity best practices and shared responsibility builds a workforce that actively helps to protect your digital assets.

Strong password policies

Make the use of complex, unique passwords compulsory, along with regular password changes. Using multifactor authentication adds an extra layer of security.

Privileged access management

Implement a privileged access management solution to manage and control access to privileged accounts. This helps prevent unauthorized access and ensures that employees only have the privileges they need.

Data encryption

Encrypt sensitive data, both in transit and at rest. Encryption adds an extra layer of protection to prevent unauthorized access to confidential information.

Regular security audits and vulnerability assessments

Conducting regular security audits and assessments identifies potential weaknesses before they can lead to security incidents. Proactively addressing vulnerabilities enhances overall cyber resilience.

Secure network configuration

Securely configure networks, limiting access, and segmenting sensitive data. This minimizes your attack surface and your vulnerability to security breaches.

Collaboration with cybersecurity experts

Engage with cybersecurity experts, consultants, or services to stay on top of the latest threats and best practices. Collaborating with experts can provide insights and guidance tailored to your specific needs.

Implement good cyber hygiene habits at your organization

The importance of good cyber hygiene can't be overstated. Cyber hygiene is the foundation of a secure and resilient digital infrastructure. It safeguards sensitive data, helps prevent breaches, and fosters a culture of security. Integrating cyber hygiene into daily operations is key to successfully navigating the complex digital landscape.

Learn how the Imprivata access management suite of solutions can help you follow good cyber hygiene at your organization – and stay tuned for Part 2 of this two-part deep dive into cyber hygiene.