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Cybersecurity Preparedness Checklist

Today’s threat landscape can be difficult to navigate. With cyberattacks occurring every 39 seconds, it is important to know whether or not your organization is protected. To help remove some of the guesswork, we’ve complied a cybersecurity preparedness checklist that you can use to help improve your security posture and defend against potential attacks. If you can check off all of the below, then you’re better positioned to defend against cyber threats.

✅ Complete a risk assessment.

By completing a free risk assessment, you’ll get a baseline understanding how much risk you have today and where you need to focus your security efforts.

✅ Perform regular penetration scans.

Working with a managed services provider to complete Vulnerability and Penetration scans can identify weaknesses in your defenses as well as provide a report as to how you can address vulnerabilities. The findings can be used to inform your cybersecurity strategy as well.

✅ Establish cybersecurity policies.

Cybersecurity policies are a vital part in any security strategy. They lay out what each employee’s responsibility is when it comes to protecting your network or recovering from an incident. Testing these policies and making sure employees are familiar with them is also important.

✅ Back up your systems.

While many equate backups to a natural disaster event like a hurricane or even power outage, they can be instrumental if hit with a ransomware attack. You can use your backups and revert to a point in time prior to the attack, if your data or systems are rendered inoperable.

✅ Use firewalls.

Firewalls are often referred to as your first line of defense, and for good reason. Network firewalls filter traffic, making sure that dangerous data packets don’t enter or leave your network.

✅ Use a virtual private network (VPN).

A VPN gives you a secure, encrypted tunnel through which hybrid and remote employees can communicate without fear of having sensitive data fall into the hands of eavesdroppers.

✅ Keep your patches up to date.

While patches can enhance functionality, they can also correct any bugs or vulnerabilities in your software. If you have the most recent software patches installed, you can take advantage of the research and work of each application’s security team.

✅ Don’t use unsupported software.

If a company decides to drop support for the software you’re using, you should stop using it because it won’t be getting new patches to address new threats. Hackers can take advantage of these systems easier, leaving you more at risk.

✅ Use a next-generation antivirus.

Not all antivirus software is created equal. A next-generation antivirus uses artificial intelligence to detect threats based on behavior, not just thread signatures.

✅ Filter traffic using domain name system (DNS) protection.

DNS threats can send visitors to a hacker’s site, making customers and others think they’re visiting yours. By using DNS protection,  you’ll be able to better defend against internet-based threats by blocking and filtering traffic to and from malicious sites and sites infected by malware.

✅ Use access controls for admin accounts.

Not all members of your IT team need admin access to everything. You should ensure that even administrators only have access to the areas they need to do their jobs. Controlling admin access can help keep your infrastructure secure in the event that credentials become compromised.

✅ Invest in endpoint security.

With an endpoint security system, you make sure that each endpoint device that employees use has sufficient protection from threats, and you also protect your network from rogue endpoints that attackers have already compromised.

✅ Use managed detection and response (MDR).

If a threat occurs, acting quickly is critical. But not all companies are prepared to respond to cyberattacks. With MDR, you can respond to threats faster because the system monitors, detects, and handles threats on your behalf.

✅ Train employees about cybersecurity.

By giving your employees the knowledge they need to recognize and avoid attacks, you essentially extend the reach of your cybersecurity team.

✅ Enforce strong and complicated passwords.

Simple passwords are not only easy to guess, but they can also appear in breaches. This makes it easier for attackers to use them in brute force attacks, which use automation to repeatedly guess passwords.

✅ Use a password manager.

A password manager keeps your passwords secure and relieves you of the responsibility of having to memorize each one. You only have to remember one password for everything – the password for your password manager.

✅ Enable multi-factor authentication.

Multi-factor authentication makes it significantly harder for hackers to gain access to your system because they need more than just a username and password for authentication.

✅ Use an inbox detection and response system.

With an inbox detection and response system, employees become a key element of your security strategy because they can freely report suspicious emails without wasting time investigating them on their own.

✅ Use simulated phishing emails to test employees.

If you periodically test employees using simulated phishing emails, you can evaluate how well they respond to this common threat and provide additional training and coaching if they don’t respond well.

✅ Get a separate cyber insurance policy.

Most standard insurance policies don’t include protection if you’ve been hit with a cyberattack. With a cyber insurance policy, you are better protected against the financial ramifications of being attacked.

If you need help checking off some of these cybersecurity activities, TPx can help. With certified professionals experienced in all these mitigation strategies, TPx can give you exactly what you need to take your security to the next level. Learn more about TPx’s services by reaching out today.

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