Cyber-security Tips to Help Keep Your Organization Hacker Free

Five Cyber-security Tips 

The cost of data breaches, in both monetary losses and damage to an organization’s reputation, can be enormous.   According to a report paid for by IBM, the average cost of a data breach suffered last year by 27 Canadian companies was $5.78 million, or $255 per lost or stolen record.

Equifax was perhaps the largest reported data breach last year, with the personal information of over 145 million Americans, Canadians and other nationalities being stolen.   It was revealed that the information stolen was stored in unencrypted format, and that a software patch which could have prevented the breach was not installed despite warnings to do so.

The following are five key cyber-security strategies you can use to help reduce the risk of becoming the next data breach victim:

  1. Train employees on how to keep corporate information secure. Many workers are ill-equipped to defend against attacks by sophisticated cyber-criminals, putting their organizations at risk.   Be proactive in making your team aware of security measures they can take to protect corporate data.
  2. Practice good password management. Passwords should be long, strong and unique.  Passwords should be more than 8 characters and include a mix of letters, numbers and symbols.  Do not use the same password for multiple sites.   Encourage all staff to use password managers, for example LastPass.  Want to know more about Password Problems? See our previous blog on passwords here.
  3. Keep security software up-to-date. Apply software patches as they become available, including to third party applications such as Adobe.
  4. Store only encrypted data on laptops and other portable devices. Unencrypted devices such as laptops can be easily stolen and are more prone to cyber attacks.  Don’t leave unlocked devices unattended – always lock them when they are not with you.
  5. Replace on-premises servers with more secure enterprise cloud storage solutions. This also addresses the requirement for maintaining safe, secure and reliable backups. Learn more about the cloud here.

Implementing these strategies in your organization can significantly strengthen your IT security and help reduce the risk of suffering a costly data breach.

 

Find out more about strengthening cyber-security protection – call me and we can have a conversation.  We can also talk about improving operating efficiency, reducing costs and strengthening your organization.  Reach me at 613-727-1230 ext. 212 or rmacneill@otusgroup.com

Richard MacNeill, FCPA, FCMA, CMC, Dipl. T. is a partner at OTUS Group, a team of advisors to business, government and not-for-profit organizations.

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Richard MacNeill
President, OTUS Group | OTUS Group
Holding Certified Management Accountant (FCMA), Chartered Professional Accountant (FCPA) and Certified Management Consultant (CMC) designations, Richard is also a graduate of the British Columbia Institute of Technology, holding a diploma in Computer Programming and Systems Technology.
Outside of work, Richard enjoys spending time with his wife and three children, and training for obstacle races.

1 thought on “Cyber-security Tips to Help Keep Your Organization Hacker Free

  1. Donnie Conner Reply

    Great advice Richard!

    And may I also add… Even with the best practices in place, a Cyber Incident resulting in a privacy breach can still occur. This is why it is also wise to add a Cyber Insurance Policy to pay for the notification expenses to those affected, provide credit monitoring services, PR services to mitigate reputation harm, expert forensic costs, post breach management services, industry fines and loss of income due to the interruption to your daily business activities.

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