You know the benefits of cyber hygiene best practices — avoiding ransomware, keeping hold of your identity, and ensuring money stays in your wallet instead of the questionable hands of cybercriminals. These are basic boons, but advanced cyber hygiene goes behind solid passwords and regular software updates.
Embracing more complex, labor-intensive strategies goes a long way for cybersecurity. Though cyber hygiene focuses on the tiny habits you can change to keep cyber threats at bay, it makes a notable impact when viewing protections through a macro lens.
Enterprise IT teams should embrace the Five Principles of Lean if they haven’t already — and if they haven’t, they can see how leveraging top-tier cybersecurity can lead to a lean work structure. The principles for improving any workplace are:
- Discovering value
- Mapping the value stream
- Crafting natural flow
- Establishing a pull system
- Running toward perfection
How does advanced cyber hygiene accentuate lean wisdom? Consider this — an organization implements a data minimization strategy to minimize surface area and data value density to hackers.
Making this decision would require IT teams to understand the monetary and intrinsic value of their employee and client data, draft a workflow to institute it and reduce the excess to more efficient data management. It appears quality cybersecurity agrees with lean principles like multi-factor authentication does with passwords. It’s a mindset that transcends initial implementation, making it a long-term benefit.
The fact is the natural and cyber worlds are meshing together — it’s not just digital assets that are in jeopardy anymore. It’s power lines, public Wi-Fi and temperature regulation. Humans could literally feel the real impact of a digital breach if a person ignored cyber hygiene so much that a hacker took advantage of a small loophole to uproot critical infrastructure. Cyber hygiene best practices aren’t just personal anymore — it’s corporate, structural and governmental.
A tiny oversight in good cyber hygiene could mean infrastructure upheaval through power outages or data loss. Imagine what this will look like as cities adopt more Internet of Things (IoT)-connected devices and machine learning. Tech companies and teams are collecting data like baseball cards, so what hygiene practices prevent total societal collapse in a future where all critical infrastructure connects through the internet?
- Using immutable storage solutions and habitual backup protocols.
- Analyze threat vectors with regular penetration testing and vulnerability scans.
- Keeping tabs on regulatory compliances like CMMC, NIST and ISO standards.
- Set reminders to reevaluate least-privilege and zero-trust structures constantly.
As previously mentioned, scoring an A+ on your compliance audits means everything connected to the internet — whether citywide EV chargers or employee machines — remains secure. Prioritizing cyber hygiene means when these audits and renewals are closing in on you, it’ll never instill anxiety or fear of failure.
Long-term cyber health relies on confident teams. Departments that retain consistent, healthy cyber habits remove the scramble and dread that surfaces a month before an audit. Instead, teams stay composed for auditors and the rest of the year because their advanced cyber hygiene tactics created foundational and enterprise resilience.
IT teams are laden with an app here and a software there to manage their day-to-day digital guardianships. Alert fatigue already plagues analysts and IT departments because so many applications are buzzing from one potential threat that’s not important against alerts that matter.
Prioritizing cyber hygiene means streamlining business processes and undergoing intentional digital transformation so analysts don’t have to traverse a nebulous app stack. Consolidating and creating centralized hubs for incoming data, alerts and system reminders will reduce overall team stress and fatigue in the long term.
Reduced app stacks mean a higher quality of life for everyone. Employees will feel greater ease knowing where to find information and can more accurately filter and communicate with what’s most critical. Should businesses consider using an encrypted password manager instead of leaving storage to individual employees in potentially unsafe places? Could manual hygiene reminders and updates that IT needs to send to employees get automated with one program?
If data privacy and collection were hashtags, they would be trending in every cybersecurity circle on the planet. Advents in legislation like the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the States’ American Data Privacy Protection Act (ADPPA) show how much the world is taking data seriously. Instilling cyber hygiene through these frameworks allows humanity to move as smoothly as possible through novel technological shifts like ChatGPT and other generative AI.
Generic cyber hygiene won’t cut it when it comes to data curation and safety — but advanced hygiene can protect customers and employees from unforeseen breaches, catastrophic lawsuits, and embarrassing media coverage. Suppose you take charge of your pro cyber hygiene principles. In that case, it means employees won’t have a chance to sue or question how their data is used or collected because you already took care about being transparent and ethical about it.
Teams can take responsibility for data and training others — employees and clients — with less technical prowess on how data works and the lengths companies must go to promise long-term data sanctity. Topics could include:
- How teams rewrote privacy policies to comply with national standards with accessible language.
- Why virtual private networks (VPNs) protect against the dangers of sharing information over insecure or public Wi-Fi.
- How hackers take advantage of hidden data collection opportunities like out-of-date software or social engineering.
- How far data spreads because it includes hardware, software and apps.
- When excess permissions put data in the hands of people who don’t need it.
The more enterprises prioritize comprehensive cyber and information security, the better off everyone will be. You will feel safer in the workplace and as a citizen of the world, traversing the nebulous World Wide Web. Everyone can walk digital realms more safely in their personal lives and at work.
But, it requires IT teams and security analysts to consider the long-term. You must employ more advanced cyber hygiene best practices to keep up with advancing cybercriminals — otherwise, you can kiss the money you spent on corporate antimalware software goodbye.