Cyber Security Assessment Services – Your IT New Year’s Resolution

January 1st, 2021 is on the horizon, and after the tumultuous year of 2020 comes to a close, many are sure to be relieved. With the new year comes new beginnings and fresh opportunities – also known as the classic New Year’s resolutions. These often short-lived promises to be better in the upcoming year are statistically bleak in terms of outcomes. In fact, according to Forbes, only 25 percent of individuals will make it into the new year with their resolution still in place, and only 8 percent actually follow through on their pledges to improve. All this talk of New Year’s resolutions may have you confused about how they relate to information technology. However, businesses are just as capable of setting annual resolutions as any individual is, and with phishing attacks, business emails being compromised, and even old-school malware reboots on the rise, reevaluating and reforming your cybersecurity practices and policies in 2021 might just be the ultimate resolution. Keep reading as we discuss how to kick bad online habits through password security, cyber security assessment services, and more, as well as some popular resolutions reimagined.

Breaking Bad Cyber Security Habits

The first step to improving yourself (or in this case, your enterprise) is to kick bad habits. For individuals, goals like drinking less alcohol or eating less processed foods might be at the top of the list. Unfortunately, these goals are often difficult to hold up to, as people are often already comfortable with those familiar items. This can be true for businesses, too; before cyber security leaders and end users can improve their outlook for 2021, they need to let go of bad habits, even if they’re hard to break. Three of the worst IT practices include the following:

Connecting to Free or Public Wi-Fi

Free Wi-Fi might be a convenient choice in a pinch, but beware – free or public Wi-Fi can be filled with potential security challenges (such as network spoofing, MitM attacks, and so on). Despite these risk factors, 77 percent of users still say they connect to free Wi-Fi outside of the office.

Using Weak Passwords

Weak passwords are surprisingly popular. Why? The answer is simple: they’re easy to remember. With that said, they also create zero barriers between your organization and even the laziest of hackers. Quitting this old habit for good is a great way to kick off 2021.

Poorly Addressing Security Blind-Spots

Some CISOs take fatalistic approaches regarding cyber security, meaning they assume that a system compromise is inevitable and therefore not worth the time and resources required for a robust cyber security strategy – which, simply put, is a huge mistake. On the other end of the spectrum, there are companies that aim for absolute perfection with their cyber security best practices and become frustrated when things don’t quite go as planned. The fact of the matter is that neither of these tactics are effective. Instead, enterprises should aim to take a proactive and reactive approach to fill any security gaps made apparent by cyber security assessment services.

Goals Over Resolutions

New Year’s resolutions tend to fail because they prioritize promises over planning. Goals, on the other hand, focus on attainable outcomes that are to be completed within a specific time frame, enabling organizations to accurately evaluate their success and adapt to setbacks more easily. Below are a few reimagined New Year’s resolutions that keep cyber security and measurable goals (not resolutions) in mind.

More Exercise

Although a classic resolution for most people, you might be wondering what more exercise means in terms of IT. For cyber security in business, the “exercise” we’re referring to is directly related to your IT defense strategy. That’s right – just like you must regularly go to the gym to achieve your dream body, you must also constantly work your defensive muscles to ensure that your networks and services aren’t at risk. You can begin by outsourcing your cyber security assessment services to identify any network vulnerabilities and by offering proper security training to employees.

Spend Less

More savings and less spending is always a primary goal for any organization. These types of resolutions are often broken when new-fangled cyber threats emerge or when a company settles for an overly expensive defense solution. To stick with spending less without compromising on security, businesses should go back to the root causes of cyber-attacks and employ basic safety measures instead of focusing on only the big picture. For instance, enterprises could tighten up their password restrictions and perform mandatory software updates every 90 days to reduce their overall risk.

Some say hindsight is 20/20, so let’s put 2020 behind us for good and learn from our past mistakes (yes, that includes those easy-to-guess passwords and unsecured Wi-Fi networks). Sticking to big resolutions is not always easy, but it will certainly pay off in the end. With that said, sometimes having a New Year’s resolution partner can keep you on track. Here at Contigo, we would love nothing more than to help you reach your 2021 cyber security goals through our results-driven IT services. Contact us today to get started on your cyber security strategy for the new year.