Sun, Sand, and Cybersecurity

August 23rd, 2018

It’s hot out there and the sun, sand, and salt water are calling our names. Summer is a great time to relax, so cybersecurity might not be top of mind. But, believe it or not, a safe and successful day at the beach happens to have a lot in common with a safe and successful cybersecurity posture.

Here are three tips for keeping summertime beach season, not breach season:

1. Don’t Put Your Head in the Sand

At work, we don’t have to worry about the kids swimming too deep like we do at the beach. But we do need to know if employees might click a phishing email or if the network has any unwanted visitors or malware on it. Cybersecurity can feel overwhelming, so it can be tempting to ignore. Especially if we haven’t experienced a cyberattack yet or we don’t think we’re a target.

But we have to get our heads out of the sand and face today’s reality: We’re all targets. For example, over half of small businesses have experienced a cyberattack in the last 12 months.

The first step is taking a cybersecurity assessment. In short, answering key business questions to surface what to be concerned with. Once you know where you stand, it’s much easier to put a plan together to start addressing the issues and improving posture. Now that doesn’t sound so overwhelming, does it?

2. Protect Yourself Continuously

As any beachgoer will tell you, protecting yourself from the sun is top priority. We all know you can’t just put on sunscreen once in the morning, the key is to keep applying throughout the day or risk getting burned.

The same goes for cybersecurity – it isn’t something we can do just once. Having a firewall and antivirus software is a start, but it’s kind of like putting SPF-15 on just your nose. It doesn’t protect from:

  • Ongoing threats such as human error and password compromise
  • Advanced or new threats such as ransomware and the 4-5 new malware strains found every second

An ongoing, layered approach is a much safer method. Having the correct policies and procedures in place, training ourselves and our employees, and deploying the right technology altogether are what make for a strong cybersecurity posture.

3. Have Some Fun!

Of course, the beach is about more than just sunscreen and safe swimming! We go there to have a good time. Cybersecurity is a serious topic, but it doesn’t have to be a bore.

Stimulating and entertaining learning content for employees can help to increase engagement and retention. In fact, 1 in 3 employees say that “uninspiring content” is a barrier to their learning. As you roll out your program, consider what can be done to make it fun. Leverage interesting content and consider gamifying your awareness training; Prizes, anyone?

Enjoy the sun, sand, and cybersecurity this summer. After all, summertime is beach season, let’s not make it breach season!

Stay Safe,

Your Friends @ Defendify

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