The Slaw blog had a good basic post yesterday morning on cybersecurity for law firms. It made me want to share some of their advice, to which I’d add a few of my own and which may apply not only to professionals but also to any type of organization.
As you may notice, a lot of this is basically common sense, as applied in the digital age:
- Start by asking yourself what type of data your organization handles, and contemplate what problems you may have were it to fall in other hands or become unavailable;
- Inventory all devices which your organization uses, including in particular those that connect to its systems and/or the Internet and make sure your personnel knows the dangers associated with plugging anything new (for ex., an infected USB stick);
- Realize that anything you plug into the Internet (i.e. make accessible) may become a point of entry for eventual hackers or infections, in particular any devices that have not been fully updated (including any firmware and software running on it) – make sure all your hardware and software are regularly updated (starting with your router and computers/servers);
- Stop allowing or using weak passwords and force everyone to use a solid password manager;
- Better yet, have everyone in the organization access every tool that can be through Two Factor Authentication (2FA);
- Acknowledge that employees require on-going cybersecurity training and reminders, and actually schedule it so that it does happen, at least every year,. Including as to things like:
- The risks associated with using passwords (such as weak or reused ones);
- Problems which may be triggered by navigating one’s browser to a malicious site or clicking on a link in an email;
- The dangers of activating, opening or clicking on attachments;
- The concept of social engineering and its role in many attacks;
- Know in advance who you will call in case of an incident to investigate or remedy, and make sure your personnel knows what your game plan is;
- Do not assume you are safe because no one would bother attacking you, as we’re all potential victims of cybersecurity incidents, as anyone can fall victim to an attack without even having been specifically targeted.
With Québec’s passing of a new personal information stature, further to Bill 64, I’d say now’s a good time to brush-up on your cybersecurity practices and safeguards!