Looking to shore up your defenses against the latest cyber attacks, and keep your IT environment safe as houses? As always, Atera has you covered, with 10 top cybersecurity tips, plus further reading on all ten so you can educate and implement security best practices for 2023 and beyond!

Educate against phishing, and spear phishing

The majority of cyberattacks still start from a phishing email, and spear phishing takes that technique one step further. By writing malicious emails that are targeted at specific employees, for example, one which mimics the voice or name of your CEO, or is contextually relevant to your industry, it’s much more likely that your staff will fall for them. Education is key, as well as a robust email security platform that flags these attacks before they reach human eyes.

Create a security bundle, not ad hoc offerings

Whether you’re working in corporate IT for a single organization or managing multiple customers as a Managed Service Provider, the best way to “sell” security to the executives is to create a security bundle of software solutions. Instead of approaching security as a set of ad-hoc needs, for example, email security, backups, malware protection, and more, create a single bundle that suits the organization’s needs to make it more likely you’ll get agreement. You can even make three options titled Essential, Best-practice, and Optional so that decision-makers can feel like they have more control over their budget.

Adjust security for remote working needs

The world has changed for good, and today the majority of office workers are now working from home at least some of the time. If your security hasn’t had an update since remote working became the norm, it’s time to get right on that. Conduct a risk assessment, educate employees on working from home and accessing the network, and create clear protocols for information sharing, communication, and data transfer. In our article on shifting to remote work, we share a comprehensive list of software and hardware that can significantly improve the success and security of remote work.

Consider chain-free backup solutions

Backup is a critical part of keeping an IT environment safe, ensuring that even if the worst occurs and there is a network failure or a cyberattack, data can be restored quickly and without catastrophic business impact. The main things to consider are the cost of storing all of the data that you own, plus the time it will take to recover the data and get systems back up and running. Chain-free backups give you the best of both worlds, reducing the amount of storage you need to pay for, but keeping time to restore down to a minimum. You can learn about chain-free backup right here, and also check out our partner solution Axcient, who are pioneers in this exciting approach.

Use an IT audit to discover security gaps

The mantra remains true, you just can’t secure what you can’t see. As well as using tools like Network Discovery to map out a continuous picture of your IT environments, starting off with a thorough IT audit is key. You can track hardware like firewalls, as well as software like SaaS security tools. Ask yourself, do you have tool sprawl, where too many security solutions are competing on tasks or notifications, or are there gaps that need to be filled that could stop you from sensing a threat in time, or recovering from an event effectively?

Make compliance a value-add, not a fear

It would be tough to find an industry that isn’t governed by some kind of compliance regulations today. If you’re handling healthcare data, that’s HIPAA, if your customers are taking credit card payments, that’s PCI DSS, and if you have customers in Europe, that’s GDPR. Don’t be afraid to talk about compliance with customers, making it part of the reason they trust you as their advisor or put you in charge of IT in a corporate environment. Test, iterate, and support compliance by getting familiar with the regulations for your industry, and then implementing the right technology to support these needs.

Weigh up your need for business insurance

Cybersecurity insurance is not exactly a must-have, but it could certainly help you sleep better at night. In some cases, customers of an MSP might not want to outsource security, which could leave gaps and omissions that leave an MSP concerned. In other cases, the connected nature of work today might create a fear that a supply chain attack could impact multiple customer environments. If you’re thinking about getting business or cybersecurity insurance, make sure it covers all of your bases by reading this thorough guide.

Always implement a zero-trust model and mindset

Talking about connected environments, zero trust is no longer a buzzword, it’s an essential part of managing security for any business. Simply put, it means only giving access to exactly who and what needs that access, and allowing staff and data to have the permissions it needs, and no further. You can implement zero trust in a number of ways, from providing credentials in a granular way, to putting infrastructure changes in place such as micro-segmentation and next-gen firewalls.

Stay aware of social engineering threats

Phishing is just the start of how attackers aim to gain a foothold in your IT environments and those of your customers. It’s important to stay ahead of the latest social engineering attacks, from baiting and whaling, to honeytraps and pretexting. Do any of those sound like Greek to you? Brush up on your terms and meanings right here. Encourage a culture of blame-free disclosures, so that even if staff fall for some kind of scam, they aren’t afraid to come to IT and let them know exactly what’s happened. The shorter the dwell time and the more information the incident response team has, the quicker resolution will be.

Research, research, research

Finally, there’s no defense like being prepared. This cybersecurity resource guide is specifically built for small businesses and entrepreneurs. It covers vital elements of protecting yourself, such as training options, cybersecurity certificates, a great foundation of tools and technologies, and best practices for protecting personal data. It’s a great jumping-off point for understanding what you need, what you already have in your arsenal, and any gaps.

Any more questions on staying secure? You can check out our cybersecurity partners here, and make sure to reach out with any questions!

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