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Improve Your Cybersecurity – It’s an Executive Order

Improve Your Cybersecurity – It’s an Executive Order
  • If you need further motivation for your efforts to improve your cybersecurity, how about this? President Biden signed an executive order for enhancing the nation’s cybersecurity.

    The Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity was signed shortly after the recent, highly publicized ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline.

    From the White House Fact Sheet:

    “Recent cybersecurity incidents such as SolarWinds, Microsoft Exchange, and the Colonial Pipeline incident are a sobering reminder that U.S. public and private sector entities increasingly face sophisticated malicious cyber activity from both nation-state actors and cyber criminals. These incidents share commonalities, including insufficient cybersecurity defenses that leave public and private sector entities more vulnerable to incidents.”

    The lessons from these high-profile stories can be useful for anyone, like small-business owners and cybersecurity professionals – even the general public. A lapse in security – whether an improperly configured security appliance or an ignored firmware update – can lead to a chain of unfortunate events.

    Cybersecurity has to be a priority.


    Take steps to prepare for ransomware attacks – now

    The White House is urging business owners and leaders to gear up and get ready for ransomware attacks.

    “All organizations must recognize that no company is safe from being targeted by ransomware, regardless of size or location,” said Anne Neuberger, deputy national security advisor for cyber and emerging technology.

    Indeed, whether you’re a multinational corporation or a mom-and-pop shop, you can be a victim of ransomware and other cyber threats. While bigger companies can have more valuable data, they typically also have stronger cyber defenses. Thus, hackers can actually be quite indiscriminate in their attacks.

    Costly downtime and cleanup, tarnished reputation, and even a death blow to your business can all be results of a successful ransomware attack.

    Fortunately, there are some things you can start doing that can help prevent these.


    Use these five steps to improve your cybersecurity

    “Cybersecurity may sound like an incredibly complex topic – and it is one – but there are easy-to-follow protocols and simple habits you can start doing now to help stay safe from cyber threats,” said Brian Walker.

    “Ready to harden your network security? Here are four ways to start.”

    1. Enable two-factor or multi-factor authentication – Weak and recycled passwords can all lead to a hacker getting into your network. Multi-factor authentication can be a stalwart second layer to help defend your systems even if a hacker overcomes the initial authentication barrier. Enable multi-factor authentication where you can.

    2. Patch ’em up! – Updates are not to be ignored – they often contain vital patches to vulnerabilities. Keep all software, firmware, and systems up-to-date. You may even consider using a centralized patch management system to ensure nothing slips through the cracks.

    3. Segment your network – A successful ransomware attack can seriously disrupt your operations. By segmenting your network and limiting access to the production and operation side of your business, you can help mitigate a cyber incident.

    4. Back up your data – In a layered array of security measures, data backups can prove to be the ultimate last line of defense. When all else fails, restoring from a recent data backup can give you a huge leg up in getting back to business.

    5. Think before you click – This may seem like an overly simple concept, but it is a big part of staying safe. Before making quick decisions online or in your inbox, think before your click on that button or link. If an offer, email, or request sounds fishy or a little off, take a moment to review before making an action. Seek advice from your IT department or managed security provider.


    Time to get cyber-serious

    “By taking cybersecurity seriously, you can help your business stay safe from the increasingly sophisticated threats knocking at your network walls,” continued Walker.

    “Thrive, a nationally recognized IT managed service provider, can help your business withstand attacks through our comprehensive and battle-tested security services. Contact our cybersecurity experts today to learn more.

    “Connect with us on social media – or keep up with our blog – to stay informed of the latest threats and get useful tips and tactics. Or, contact us today for a free cybersecurity consultation.”