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Cybersecurity best practices to empower your team

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, so we're sharing tips on how companies and their employees can work together to protect what matters.

By Sophia Harrison, Security Marketing Manager

Last updated October 4, 2022

It’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month! Since its start in 2004, this monthlong initiative has continuously picked up steam year-over-year—matching the corresponding rise in cyber attacks. But what started as an effort to educate the general public about the changing technological landscape and its related security risks has now become a critical reminder for all organizations to remain vigilant about their security posture.

But what exactly does that mean?

Read on to find out how you can protect data and sensitive information and prevent employees from falling victim to cyber attacks.

  1. Make security a priority

    Staying ahead of the threat landscape is challenging. According to the Cisco Cybersecurity Report Series 2020, 40 percent of organizations suffer from cybersecurity fatigue—defined as virtually giving up on proactively defending themselves against malicious actors. While there’s no way to completely avoid cyber threats, making security a top priority at the onset can go a long way toward mitigating burnout.
    One of the best times to do this is when you’re onboarding a new product or service. Do your due diligence and find out how the company integrates security into its products and services, how and when it will use your data, and where your responsibility for security begins and ends. It’s much easier to implement and enforce security controls at the onset of adoption than it is to do so farther down the line.
  2. Use your human resources

    According to the April 2022 jobs report, there are more than 700,000 job openings in cybersecurity, with analysts being the most in demand. However, customer expectations for security and the number of attacks have continued to rise. In addition, a 2020 World Economic Forum report ranked the United States 10th in cyber risk literacy and education. As we’re also the number-one target for attacks and malicious actors, there’s a need for improvement.

    Education is the best defense against an attack.

    Combined with a significant skills shortage, this shows that many companies need to make better use of existing resources—specifically, their employees. Education is the best defense against an attack. Training your employees in basic cybersecurity dos and don’ts, what to look out for, and how to report a threat is critical in keeping your data safe and secure.
  3. Take a proactive approach

    Prioritizing security and employee education is crucial in the fight against cyber attacks. But they alone aren’t enough. You must take a proactive approach to your security. You can’t wait until a data breach, credential compromise, or similar incident occurs to take action—it’s a poor strategy and one from which you may not recover.
    In 2021, only 8 percent of companies that experienced a ransomware attack recovered all their data after paying the ransom. These companies weren’t prepared. But that doesn’t have to be your story. Implementing best practices that cover everything from email attachments to vendor access controls and product use cases are actionable steps that will significantly minimize your vulnerability to phishing, ransomware, and other compromising threats.

Stay cyber smart year-round

Our General Security Best Practices Guide and Zendesk Suite Actionable Security Guide have everything you need to level up your security strategy so it’s strong all year.

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