Cybersecurity Month may be over, but the war on cybercrime continues as the latest threats (e.g. social engineering, DDoS, ransomware attacks) endanger our digital space.  

Now, more than ever before is managed security awareness training becoming vital for the modern workplace in mitigating human-born risk. The truth is that all organizations offer a unique environment with their very own operational systems, culture, and teams. 

That's why security training should get the ball rolling by building cybersecurity awareness for each individual and helping them understand how their behavior and day-to-day activities impact your organization. 

What is more, safe internet habits should be transformed from a mere buzzword to an office-wide value. At AMATAS we know how important it's to set a positive example as leaders for your teams, especially in establishing a safer digital culture. 

So, get ready for our 10 Tips and Tricks on how to continue to safeguard your organization's most valuable (and indispensable) resources - data and information. 

Cybersecurity Strategy: Setting Up Your Defense Systems 

In cybersecurity and in chess, you always have to think one step ahead. But while a queen's gambit may work in chess, when it comes down to your organization's data, digital assets, and information, you can't risk losing a single pawn. 

1. Consider your cybersecurity strategy as a holistic, integral approach, tailored to protect your current systems and assets, in view of the current and potential threat landscape.  

Thus, you need to focus on detection, prevention, and recovery by investing in proven antivirus software; storage and backup; policies, and guidelines your team needs to comply with in case of a cyberattack. 

2. Also, think about how you could turn your weakest link (the human factor) into knights on the chessboard, safeguarding your organization. We couldn't agree more that knowledge - regarding current issues, threats, and your holistic approach to cybersecurity - is power.  Your team needs to learn how to protect all sensitive organization and customer information by learning to recognize that there is: 

  • a difference between secure and scam websites (httpS:// vs http) 
  • a reason for antivirus filters to be turned on: to protect against malicious sites 
  • harm to downloading a suspicious attachment or clicking a pop-up  

Last, but not least, scammers are resorting more and more to BEC (business email compromise). Where sometimes an email from your CEO, asking for client-sensitive information, may not actually be from the real sender. Your team needs to be wary of grammatical errors or perhaps the missing signature at the bottom of the correspondence. 

Key To More Secure Company-Wide Systems 

After you've secured your strategic approach toward cybersecurity, you need to think about the systems you've set in place. 

3. Even though they may be protected by a firewall against various malicious threats, regular updates are key. We recommend that all of your antivirus, antispam, and antispyware software is set to update automatically. The same goes for all the operational systems and applications your organization uses. Once security patches become available, make sure everyone installs them asap. 

4. When it comes to physical access to your organizational data, ensure that all PCs, laptops, tablets, phones, etc. are locked when not in use. And as for digital access, we recommend that your internet connection and cloud-based systems are protected by firewalls. Also, consider restricting data access (to members of staff that need it) and administrative privileges (to key team members). 

5. One final thought - cyberattackers tend to use Wi-Fi networks could as gateways to your organization. To protect your systems, set up separate guest and business networks; and that they are all password protected. 

BONUS: With hybrid workplaces, many of your team members may resort to using public Wi-Fi networks - make sure that they log in to your systems using VPN (virtual private networks) to safeguard your organization’s data integrity. 

123456 Isn't A Password! 

Passwords create quite a conundrum within any organization's environment, and here's why - when employees have to set their own passwords, they often resort to something they can't forget. Like "123456" or "password" or even "1q2w3e". Smart choice? Think again! These are some of the most common passwords users have set in 2022. Not only this, but when trying to access your networks, hackers will most likely try to enter some of the above. 

6. To safeguard your organization, you need to have individual user accounts with strong passwords (including a mixture of capital and lower case letters, numbers, symbols, etc.) that are updated every three months or so. 

7. Continuing on with the password debacle, imagine the following scenario. You've just bought a new, pretty cool software for your team to use, that will not only make them more efficient but will improve their performance. Before you install it on any device, make sure you've changed the default passwords and accounts (your new routers' "admin"/ "admin" username-password combo is quite easy to guess). 

8. Finally, let's dive into two-factor or multi-factor authentication as an effective measure to further guard your systems. As if an intruder tries to access your networks (and you have 2FA or MFA installed), you'll get an immediate notification and be able to kick them out. Thus preventing them from doing any further damage. 

Quest Beyond Time: Data Integrity, Availability, Confidentiality 

Upholding the three information security concepts should be integrated into any organization's fundamental values. But safeguarding these three principles is no easy task. That's why it's a good idea to intertwine values with standards and regulations, serving as mechanisms of safety, and being understood as such. 

9. Data retention policies should leave no stone unturned when it comes to data storage. Hence, detailing how and where sensitive data is stored; for how long it'll be retained. The policies should always question the need for data retention and either encrypt (to protect) data or destroy irrelevant information. 

10. Finally, here's a - let's call it +4 UNO card - to winning the data protection game. There's a reason for international policies and standards to be drafted, written, and implemented. Created by international experts in consideration of cyberspace as a holistic environment, they should serve organizations as strict guidelines to uphold data and information security. So don't forget to stay updated with the latest regulations and implement those within your working environment. 

A safer cyberspace within the organization context depends on the responsibility each individual accepts. Managed security awareness training provides you with expert resources, becoming flexible to your organizational needs. What's more, by investing in opening new horizons in front of your team's eyes, you show them how much they are valued within the big picture of things. Your team is on the frontline, every single day, of cyberattacks - that's why thinking ahead and giving them the necessary knowledge is the key element to preventing cyberattacks. 

We'd like to leave you with Sun Tzu's "The Art of War" infamous quote, which is definitely applicable to the digital space: “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win” 


Ralitsa Kosturska in AMATAS