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What is Security Hygiene

Security hygiene refers to the basic security practices and procedures that organisations should regularly implement to maintain their security posture. These practices are designed to help prevent, detect, and respond to common security threats. Getting the basics right, and maintaining them, can greatly improve your security posture.

  1. Patch and update software: Regularly patch and update all software, including operating systems, applications, and firmware, to ensure that known vulnerabilities are addressed.

  2. Back up data: Regularly back up important data and, if possible, keep multiple copies in different locations, so that if data is lost or compromised, it can be restored from a backup. Ensure backups are separate from operational systems and file servers.

  3. Secure user devices: Ensure laptops, desktops, and devices used by your staff have anti-virus software installed, and kept up-to-date, to detect and prevent malware from being installed on your systems. Provide users with unique user accounts, and ensure devices are locked, needing a password to unlock them, after a period of inactivity. Ensure devices are encrypted to protect the data that resides on them if the device is lost.

  4. Implement network security controls: Implement security controls, such as firewalls, intrusion detection, and prevention systems, and web filters, to block and detect malicious network traffic.

  5. Restrict access: Restrict access to sensitive data and systems to only those who need it, and use multi-factor authentication to protect against unauthorised access. Ensure users do not operate with high privileges for day-to-day tasks, such as reading email or browsing the internet.

  6. Train employees: Train employees on security best practices, such as how to identify and report suspicious emails, links, or attachments, and how to avoid clicking on links or opening attachments from unknown sources.

  7. Review and monitor logs: Regularly review and monitor system and network logs for signs of suspicious activity, such as failed login attempts, unusual traffic patterns, or unauthorised access.

  8. Maintain incident response plan: Regularly review and update your incident response plan to ensure that your organisation is prepared to respond quickly and effectively in case of a security incident. Practice these plans.

  9. Regularly review security measures: Review and update your security measures regularly to ensure they are effective against the latest threats.

  10. Continuously monitor: Continuously monitor and measure the effectiveness of security hygiene, and make adjustments as needed to improve it.

It’s important to note that security hygiene is an ongoing process and regular assessments, monitoring, and updating of security measures are essential to maintain good security hygiene.

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