Cyber security threats and trends can change year over year as technology continues to advance at alarming speeds. As such, it’s critical for organizations to reassess their data protection practices at the start of each new year and make achievable cyber security resolutions to help protect themselves from costly breaches. The following are resolutions your company can implement to ensure you don’t become the victim of a cyber crime:

  1. Provide security training—It’s critical for organizations to thoroughly train personnel on common cyber threats and how to respond. Employees should understand the dangers of visiting harmful websites, leaving their devices unattended and oversharing personal information on social media.
  2. Install strong antivirus software and keep it updated—Organizations should conduct thorough research to choose software that’s best for their needs. Once installed, antivirus programs should be kept up to date.
  3. Instill safe web browsing practices—Employees should be trained on proper web usage and instructed to only interact with secured websites. For further protection, companies should consider blocking known threats and potentially malicious webpages outright.
  4. Create strong password policies—Effective password management protects the integrity, availability and confidentiality of an organization’s passwords. Above all, you’ll want to create a password policy that specifies all of the organization’s requirements related to password management. This policy should require employees to change their password on a regular basis, avoid using the same password for multiple accounts and use special characters in their password.
  5. Use multi-factor authentication—Multi-factor authentication adds a layer of security that allows companies to protect against compromised credentials. Through this method, users must confirm their identity by providing extra information (e.g., a phone number, unique security code) when attempting to access corporate applications, networks and servers.
  6. Get vulnerability assessments—Using a system of simulated attacks and stress tests, vulnerability assessments can help you uncover entry points into your system. Following these tests, security experts compile their findings and provide recommendations for improving network and data safety.
  7. Patch systems regularly and keep them updated—A common way cyber criminals gain entry into your system is by exploiting software vulnerabilities. To prevent this, it’s critical that you update applications, operating systems, security software and firmware on a regular basis.
  8. Back up your data—In the event that your system is compromised, it’s important to keep backup files. Failing to do so can result in the loss of critical business or proprietary data.
  9. Understand phishing threats and how to respond—Phishing is a method cyber criminals use to gather personal information. Phishers send an email or direct users to fraudulent websites, asking victims to provide sensitive information. These emails and websites are designed to look legitimate and trick individuals into providing sensitive information. It’s more important than ever to understand the different types of attacks, how to identify them and preventive measures you can implement to keep your organization safe.
  10. Create an incident response plan—Cyber incident response plans provide clear steps for companies to follow when a cyber event occurs. Response plans allow organizations to notify impacted customers and partners quickly and efficiently, limiting financial and reputational damages.

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