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Top 10 Tips for improving cyber security in your organization

Improving cyber security in your organization is a complex initiative involving multiple audiences (HR; senior leadership; IT; vendors; employees) and all aspects of your supply chain. In this newsletter, we propose adopting the NIST framework as a comprehensive approach to cyber security. However, there are a few simple principles that all employees of any organization can adopt to improve cyber security. Here are our favorite top ten tips:

  1. Don’t leave your devices (e.g., laptop and smartphone) unattended in public spaces.
  2. Always lock your desktop (i.e., screen) when leaving your laptop unattended (e.g. leaving your desk or office to go get a coffee, retrieve something from the copier, or chat with someone, or to go check on the kids). Don’t wait for your screensaver to kick in to lock the screen.
  3. Don’t trust e-mail from people you don’t know.
  4. If your anti-virus warns you, believe it!
  5. Use two-factor authentication whenever possible to ensure that you're the only person who can access your account, even if someone knows your password.
  6. Use smart passwords (numbers, uppercase, 10 characters).
  7. Don’t use work passwords for personal logins.
  8. Backup your data.
  9. Don’t broadcast your Bluetooth information and/or airdrop info. This is an open invitation for hackers to attack your mobile devices.
  10. Don’t trust public computers ever!

These are simple yet effective cyber security practices to integrate into your organization’s culture. Additionally, requiring all employees to participate in e-mail security training is quickly becoming a standard in most organizations.

Please share your cyber security practices, so we can learn collectively on how to improve together. (E-mail dhenry@donahue.umassp.edu)

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