Measure 1: User Hygiene 101

User Hygiene 101

Good cyber hygiene is required if an individual or organization wishes to remain ready and resilient against attacks. It is worth adding emphasis: the best tactics are not flashy and highly marketed silver bullet products but rather basic operating procedures, practices, and maintenance that often get neglected or overlooked.

Ransomware attacks are not coming and going. Instead, they are surging and causing havoc. Regarding the attack surge, SonicWall recorded a 148% surge in global ransomware attacks (up to 495 million), making 2021 the worst year the company has ever recorded. The company also predicted 714 million attempted ransomware attacks, a 134% increase over 2020 totals. Organizations pay an average of $220,298 and suffer 23 days of downtime following a ransomware attack, damaging their businesses, brand reputations, and customer relationships.

We know cybersecurity is a human problem. We argue that user hygiene should be the first line of defense against cyber-attacks and the surge in ransomware attacks.

Good cyber hygiene hopefully places a person or enterprise in the best possible position to both protect from attack and, if attacked, be able to return to normal operations with as little downtime (and pain) as possible. Think hours instead of days, days instead of weeks. This includes maintaining the ability to work through the disruption, even if in a degraded state. Explore the following topics to learn what initial steps we recommend taking in order to begin a practice of good user cyber hygiene.

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