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Cybersecurity Best Practices for Your Association

February 8, 2022

Cybersecurity Best Practices for Your Association

Cybersecurity is a pressing issue in today’s day and age. Following the rapid rollout of COVID-19 remote working arrangements, the cost of global cybercrime exceeded $1 trillion, a more than 50% increase from 2018. And cybercrime is still on the rise, undeterred by society’s slow return to a new kind of normalcy.

If there’s one stark disadvantage to remote working, it’s hands-down security concerns. fortunately, you can always dedicate more resources toward preventative cybersecurity measures for your association. Buffering your association against malicious attacks involves everyone, not just IT or accounting. In this article, we’ll explore cybersecurity best practices any association can adopt to save money, worries, and headaches.

Adopt Multi-Factor Authentication

Using hard-to-guess passwords that vary across accounts is one of the best ways to defend against potential cybersecurity attacks. In recent years, it’s also become standard practice for software programs to offer two-factor or multi-factor authentication options to better verify user identity. 

Some platforms, like Google, have even decided to auto-enroll users in multi-factor authentication services. In addition to a password, multi-factor authentication requires an additional code, Touch ID, or in-app verification before granting account access. Needless to say, these extra layers of security provide your association with a world of difference when it comes to organizational security. 

Update Software Frequently

Have you ever updated your phone or laptop and watched bothersome glitches disappear instantly? Software updates don’t just fix bugs on the user end. They also include security patches for outdated software.

Your association should regularly update any web browser plugins and ensure automatic system updates are turned on for all company devices. Whether you use WordPress, Java, or another piece of software, it’s important to stay up-to-date on new software releases. It could make all the difference in patching up system vulnerabilities.

Educate Your Association

From board members to IT employees, everyone can use the occasional refresher on online safety protocols. Regularly brushing up on company policy and sharing the latest cybersecurity news are a couple of ways you can keep your association in the loop. 

Raising awareness of phishing scams and insider security breaches can also help; a 2021 study revealed that around 94% of US & UK organizations had experienced an insider data breach in the preceding 12 months — but over 84% of these breaches were unintentionally caused by human error, leaving a huge margin for improvement. 

Carefully Control Device Access

When people think about cybersecurity, there’s a tendency to forget the hardware component of things. While it’s important to keep your business software as secure as possible, maintaining physical control over business devices is just as important. 

Never leave electronics that may contain sensitive information unattended. To add an extra layer of security, each device should also have a unique password. And if a device does end up lost or stolen, its status should be reported to IT as soon as possible to prevent any further security breaches.

Backup Your Data

No matter how many precautions you take to protect your data, no method is 100% foolproof. There will always be some obscure backdoor weakness no one could have foreseen. That’s why it’s best practice to backup important data in the event of an unavoidable system crash or cyberattack. 

Think one backup is enough? Think again — IT experts recommend storing at least three complete backups onsite and one offsite. A mixture of physical hard drive storage and cloud storage makes multiple backups more feasible.

Securing Your Association

One step at a time, you can take prudent strides toward adopting impeccable cybersecurity practices for your association. In fact, greater cybersecurity awareness is one of our 5 key lessons for associations in 2022. It’s always easier (and less costly) to take preventative action now. Otherwise, you may never know how much your association stands to benefit from more resilient security measures until it’s too late.

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By day, Celita Summa is a Florida-based freelance writer specializing in business, technology, marketing, and a plethora of other topics. By night, Celita can be found developing her special talents, which include her black belt in karate, her fluent Italian, and her knack for vegan cooking.

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