Cybersecurity Awareness Month – 5 Ways to Make Your Workplace Safer
Oct 20, 2021 | 42Gears Team
October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month (CAM), and the world needs it this year more than ever. Some companies have relaxed security policies after 18 months of global pandemic conditions, and bad actors have stepped in to take advantage. Techniques like phishing have introduced threats like ransomware on an unprecedented scale. As companies fall victim to threats, the pressure is on for other companies to promote security as much as possible.
While the American government is behind Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the goals it promotes are important for companies worldwide. The overarching theme of 2021 is the same as last year - namely, "be smart, do your part." This recognizes the role that every individual plays in keeping data safe - both their own data, and the work data they access as part of their jobs. The organizers behind CAM have released a few recommendations for how to use devices responsibly. While these recommendations are undoubtedly valuable, they are oriented towards individuals, rather than organizations. We've decided to provide an enterprise-focused take on a few of these tips. Read on to learn about some of the most important guidelines for your company to follow. Plus, you'll learn how you can start to follow them.
5 Important Ways for Companies to Keep Their Assets as Secure as Possible During Cybersecurity Awareness Month
- Promote multi-factor authentication (MFA) wherever possible
Thousands of companies are rapidly adopting a zero-trust strategy - in other words, they assume that any attempt at accessing company resources is potentially suspicious, and needs to be verified. A major component of zero-trust is requiring users to have access to multiple kinds of authentication. This is why multi-factor authentication (MFA) is so important.
Using a device management solution like SureMDM by 42Gears, you can mandate employees use MFA. This can be a powerful deterrent to bad actors who want to access sensitive resources. Combining SureMDM with a single sign-on (SSO) solution can allow for one rigorous authentication process to permit access to multiple work tools via MFA.
- Put a Rigorous Password In Place
Good so-called "password hygiene" is important for individual users - but it's even more important for organizations, on both smartphones and desktops. As the saying goes, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. If one employee has an easily-guessable password, that's enough for a bad actor to infiltrate your network.With SureMDM, you can implement several kinds of password controls - namely, password complexity, and the frequency with which passwords need to be changed. While some argue that mandating very frequent password changes does more harm than good, no one contests the value of a complex password. By establishing standards that everyone in the organization must follow, you ensure that there is no "weakest link" making your company vulnerable.
- Push the Latest Software and Firmware Updates to Every Applicable Device
Hardware and software creators release updates for a reason - they discover vulnerabilities and patch them. While this may seem obvious, many businesses struggle to make sure every device has the latest updates. This includes app updates, operating system updates, and device firmware. This is where SureMDM can help.SureMDM provides a central command center from which you can assess the status of every device. This means you tell at a glance if there are devices which have not been fully updated. From there, you can remotely update them. Therefore, you should enroll any devices used for work into an MDM solution.- even employee-owned ones.
- Follow the "rule of least privilege"
A major issue that has raised alarm bells worldwide is the increasing use of "bring your own" devices (BYOD) to access sensitive company resources. In particular, some executives have provided BYO devices with unrestricted access to company resources - which is a huge liability.
In order to overcome this issue, it's important that companies adhere to the "principle of least privilege" - in other words, they only allow each user to access what they absolutely need, and no more. SureMDM can help quickly assign each user access privileges based on their position and needs. Plus, with multi-user profile functionality, a single device can accommodate multiple users, who each have their own level of privilege.
- Restrict Access to Sensitive Data When Using Unsecured Wi-Fi Networks
Unsecured Wi-Fi networks can provide a means by which bad actors can intercept sensitive data. Given that workers are increasingly mobile, and want to access work data from public Wi-Fi networks, this poses a major challenge. Using such public networks sparingly is a best practice for individuals - but how do companies enforce this across every device?
MDM solutions can implement contextual policies known as "fences." This includes network fencing - which automatically detects if a network connection is unsafe, and instantly blocks access to sensitive corporate data. Thanks to network fencing, you can make sure employees only access your data through secure networks.
Conclusion: Cybersecurity Awareness Month is Just the Beginning
While it's good to celebrate cybersecurity during October, it's essential to keep it in mind during the rest of the year as well. If you have not yet implemented an MDM solution, you have just seen 5 good reasons to do so. Many more exist as well. To minimize your risk of security problems, it’s worth taking the next step and embracing MDM.