New Year's Resolutions: Cyber Security Edition | Rea CPA

New Year’s Resolutions: Cyber Security Edition

Paper with 2024 at the top with words overlaid "Cyber Resolutions"

As the clock strikes midnight and the calendar flips over to a new year, many of us embark on the tradition of setting New Year’s resolutions. Whether it’s hitting the gym, learning a new skill, or finally tackling that reading list, resolutions are a way to usher in the year with optimism and a commitment to self-improvement. However, there’s one resolution that often gets overlooked amid personal goals: cybersecurity. In the digital age, protecting your business from cyber threats should be at the top of your resolution list. Let’s explore why and how you should make cybersecurity a priority, and why waiting until the new year might not be the best strategy. 

The Digital Battlefield

In an era where businesses operate in the vast landscape of the internet, cyber threats have become as commonplace as morning coffee. From data breaches to ransomware attacks, the digital battlefield is a constant challenge. While we meticulously plan our personal resolutions, it’s time to extend that same diligence to our businesses. 

Picture this: Your business is a castle, and the cybercriminals are the invaders trying to breach the walls. Your New Year’s resolution? Fortify those digital ramparts! The stakes are high, and the consequences of neglecting cybersecurity can be devastating. It’s not just about protecting sensitive data; it’s about safeguarding your reputation, customer trust, and the financial health of your enterprise. 

Why Wait for January?

Now, let’s address the elephant in the room: the timing of New Year’s resolutions. While the allure of a fresh start on January 1st is undeniable, waiting until the stroke of midnight might not be the wisest approach when it comes to cybersecurity. Cyber threats don’t operate on a yearly schedule—they’re constantly evolving, adapting, and lurking in the digital shadows. 

Imagine if we treated our physical health the same way we sometimes approach cybersecurity: “I’ll start eating healthy and exercising on January 1st.” The consequences of delaying such commitments could be detrimental. Similarly, procrastinating on cybersecurity measures might expose your business to unnecessary risks. 

Therefore, in the spirit of not waiting for the ball to drop at midnight, let’s raise to toast to the here and now for a more secure future:  

Resolution #1: Educate and Train

One of the fundamental pillars of cybersecurity is education. Equip your team with the knowledge and skills needed to recognize and combat cyber threats. Waiting until the New Year to implement training programs could leave your business vulnerable to phishing attacks, social engineering, and other malicious tactics. 

Make it a resolution to regularly educate your employees about cybersecurity best practices. This could involve simulated phishing exercises, workshops, and updates on the latest cyber threats. Remember, a well-informed team is your first line of defense against cyber adversaries.  

Resolution #2: Update and Patch Regularly

Just as you wouldn’t neglect your car’s regular maintenance, don’t overlook the importance of updating and patching your business’s software and systems. Cybercriminals often exploit vulnerabilities in outdated software to gain unauthorized access. 

Make it a resolution to establish a routine for updating and patching all software and systems promptly. Consider implementing automated tools to streamline the process and reduce the risk of oversight. The goal is to create a digital environment that’s as impenetrable as a fortress.  

Resolution #3: Implement Multi-Factor Authentication

In the world of cybersecurity, passwords alone are like leaving the keys to the kingdom under the doormat. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to verify their identity through multiple means, such as a password and a unique code sent to their mobile device. 

Don’t put off implementing MFA until the New Year. Make it a resolution to strengthen your business’s authentication methods immediately. This simple yet effective measure can thwart many unauthorized access attempts and significantly enhance your overall security posture.  

Resolution #4: Conduct Regular Security Audits

Just as an annual health checkup is crucial for your well-being, regular security audits are vital for your business’s cybersecurity. Waiting until the New Year to assess your digital defenses might allow vulnerabilities to linger unchecked. 

Resolve to conduct regular security audits throughout the year. This involves thoroughly examining your network, systems, and processes to identify and address potential weaknesses. By staying proactive, you can detect and mitigate security risks before they escalate into major threats.  

A Cyber-Savvy New Year

In the realm of New Year’s resolutions, cybersecurity deserves a prime spot on your list. Instead of waiting for the calendar to flip, take immediate action to protect your business from the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats. 

In the digital age, the key to a successful and secure business lies in staying ahead of potential risks. So, fortify those cyber defenses, educate your team, and make cybersecurity a year-round commitment. As the saying goes, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.” The same holds true for bolstering your cybersecurity — start today, not just in January. Your business’s digital fortress will thank you.  

Still need help?

Reach out today and let’s discuss how Rea Information Services can best help keep you and your organization cyber safe. 

By Steve Naughton (Wooster Office)