Here are 7 cyber security tips CEOs can use right now to protect their data and their networks:
Implement a culture of tight cybersecurity.
Good bank managers consistently emphasize the bank’s security policies; CEOs can do the same. In many companies this will represent a true cultural shift and it will be hard. It must begin at the top and must be enforced at every level within the organization.
Don’t take it from me.
According to a PWC report almost half of Boards still view cybersecurity as an IT matter, rather than an enterprise-wide risk issue.
Ban USB flash drives.
But isn’t this too hard to do? Not really. The Department of Defense has banned them for years. Not only has the DoD banned flash drives; they have alarm systems in place and track and report use violations.
These ubiquitous devices can carry viruses and other malware. Additionally, because they are easy to conceal and can store huge amounts of data they are great tools for cybercriminals.
I’ve lived without flash drives for the past 7 years and it’s hard for me to imagine they’re still around.
Get serious about passwords.
Here are the top seven passwords according to lifehacker:
Implement a password policy, inspect it, and enforce it. Passwords should be 12 characters, upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. There’s a plethora of websites devoted to how to build a strong password and, just as importantly, how to remember them.
Re-certify every email account.
Require it be done in person and with a valid ID. Pick a date 30 days from now and lock uncertified accounts after that date. An additional 30 days later, delete uncertified accounts. Simple, and closes avenues of approach from cyber criminals.
Implement mandatory information assurance training.
OK, I don’t like this one any more than you do, but it works and more importantly it helps establish the culture. Be the first to take the training and mandate your senior executives do the same. Lock accounts of those that don’t complete the training in a timely manner.
Track and monitor software patch implementation.
Software patches are more than fixing glitches in the software; they’re designed to protect you from the latest malware. Get’em done.
Limit access to your most valuable data.
Make it hard to see. Did Private Manning really need access to hundreds of thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables? Was it essential Edward Snowden have access to a million classified files? True, history and human nature indicate we may never eliminate the insider threat, but we do have the ability to limit what’s taken.
Implement these policies.
Today. Got more ideas? Join the conversation and let’s hear them.
In collaboration with Julia Nash