10 Proactive Steps To Boost Cyber Resilience

With growing connectivity in our lives, also comes escalating cyber risks that no one can afford to ignore anymore. As hackers target everything from infrastructure and elections to individual identities, just being online means vulnerability to cybercrime

While it’s impossible to be 100% secure, increasing resilience to attacks makes a world of difference. Whether it be enabling multi-factor authentication (MFA), updating software or just avoiding suspicious links, small habitual steps can thwart most common hacking strategies. Thus lowering the odds of becoming the next victim of data extortion, identify theft or financial fraud.

Here are 10 straightforward, actionable measures everyone from average people to enterprises should undertake for staying cyber secure:

1. Turn on MFA for important accounts – No more easy-to-crack passwords with MFA activated, as you need to verify through an added step like biometrics or a unique code sent to your phone. 

2. Install comprehensive antivirus software on all devices and update it regularly. Modern antivirus packages incorporate threat intelligence on emerging risks to catch criminals.

3. Only download apps from trusted sources like Play Store or App Store. 3rd party app stores have a higher change of harbouring malware-infected apps that compromise privacy.

4. Wait before updating to a newly released OS version so early bugs get fixed via updates. Hasty adopters sometimes suffer security drawbacks from unanticipated flaws in major platform updates.

5) Think twice before connecting to public Wi-Fi networks and never access finance apps or sites when on open connections. It’s an easy way for hackers to intercept unencrypted data or credentials. Use VPN if you absolutely need to use public networks.

6) Back up your data regularly either on an external hard drive or via encrypted cloud backups. This ensures minimal disruption in case of device failure and easier recovery if ever impacted by ransomware. 

7) Be very discriminating about what links you click or attachments you open to avoid falling victim to phishing campaigns, especially if from an unknown sender. Verify legitimacy when in doubt.

8) Monitor financial statements routinely for any unauthorised activity and set up transaction alerts if your bank offers that option. Identifying fraud quickly limits the extent of losses.

9) For businesses, schedule penetration testing, install SIEM software, establish recovery plans and provide compulsory cyber security awareness training to employees. The human element is vital.

10) Finally, no matter what safeguards, still recognize residual risks. Consider specialised cyber insurance policies that offset costs tied to data breaches, theft or network outages from attacks. They provide another layer of financial resilience.  

With discipline around a few key protective steps incorporated habitually, people gain a reasonable buffer against the ravages of an untamed digital wilderness while still reaping its benefits. Cybercrime will inevitably persist but collective small actions make all the difference in not becoming a target.

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