There has been a strong public message about the importance of preventing the spread of germs over the past few months, through awareness campaigns about the importance of effective workplace hygiene. Staff have been told that it is necessary to wash their hands with soap for 20 seconds, wipe down workstations before using them, and in general, maintain good hygiene practices in everything they do in order to curb the spread of viruses. Doing so not only helps keep workplaces clean and hygienic, it also promotes the safety of staff whilst onsite. Effective personal hygiene practices work at promoting a clean, healthy workplace that people can feel safe at. While public awareness campaigns have done much to inform business’ of the importance of workplace personal hygiene, to work at ensuring your company is safe, healthy, and productive in other areas of its operations, it is worthwhile to look at how the some of the clear, methodical hygiene practices could be applied elsewhere.
Computer systems and networks need a strong maintenance system in place to ensure they are running at optimum performance, with minimal downtime. Bugs, viruses, and glitches all threaten to undermine the stability of your business’ computer management systems, and can result in significant business downtime. Further, there is a huge range of potential information technology threats to business systems, ranging from intentional cyber threats, in the form of hacks and malware, to software and hardware risks in the form of systems potentially becoming outdated, necessitating the need for regular computer maintenance and updates.
In addition, business’ may not fully comprehend the potential scope of the information technology threat to their organisation until after it has significantly impacted their operations. After all, how do you quantify the effects that a hardware glitch will have on your business? If a software bug causes your organisation to go offline for three business days, then your company is not just faced with the task of getting systems back up and running, but also of regaining lost revenue, restoring customer and stakeholder confidence, and ensuring that there are fault-checking systems in place to ensure the issue does not reoccur.
Cyber Hygiene is a Clean Solution to the Problem
The solution to these potential information technology threats is to apply similar rigorous, methodical hygienic practices to your business’ computer management systems, that you would to your employee’s personal hygiene requirements. In the same way that effective personal hygiene practices work at keeping staff safe from the spread of germs, viruses, and bacteria, regular cyber hygiene practices ensure that a business’ computer management systems continue to run safely and securely, to optimum performance, and that there is a system of safeguarding procedures in place, so that in the event of a potential information technology threat there is a clear operational procedure that works at mitigating its impact on operations.
The International Organization for Standadization’s ISO 27001:2013 Information Security standards can provide business’ with the tools, strategies and knowledge to protect their information technology assets, and practice effective cyber hygiene, through the implementation of an effective Information Security Management System (ISMS). The ways in which hackers try to gain unauthorised access to your knowledge are changing daily, as they are continually refining and fine-tuning their strategies to get access to your business’ information technology systems. It only takes one mistake for a business’ entire information security system to be compromised, which could not only significantly impact their daily operation, but it could also undermine their reputation with clients and stakeholders.
To safeguard against this, the ISO 27001:2013 standards applies a methodical approach to information security management, in that it helps organisations recognise, handle, and mitigate the range of potential information technology threats to their business. The standards also act as a way of reassuring staff, customers, and clients that their confidential data is being safeguarded by a demonstrably successful, internationally certified, information security standard recognised across the world as the benchmark for protecting business data, through the implementation of strong cyber hygiene practices.
What Practicing Cyber Hygiene Does for Your Business
Through the implementation of the ISO 27001 standards, your business can analyse the scope of potential cyber threats to its operations as a whole, and work at developing a unified system to safeguard against them. This level of cohesion ensures that all your business cyber security systems are running in cohesion, with the same check-list approach in place for what to do in the event of an incident, across the board.
This means that all potential cyber risks to your operations, whether it be suspicious emails or the need for an across-the-board software update to ensure your computer systems remain industry compliant, are dealt with in the same methodical manner, and thus your business is taking active steps to protect against potential information technology threats, such as phishing, ransomware, socially engineered emails, and data breaches.
Not Implementing an ISMS Could Cost Your Business More
For business’ concerned with staying competitive and relevant in a competitive marketplace, demonstrating your commitment to strong cyber hygiene practices is a must. It shows staff, customers, and clients that your business has identified potential cyber risks to its operations, and taken active, industry compliant steps to ensure that they do not impact operations. This helps maintain your business’ reputation, ensures that customers and clients continue to do business with you, and helps your workplace to be productive and safe.
Although applying the ISO 27001 standards to operations takes a bit of time and effort from the business, these proactive measures work on saving a significant amount of time and effort later. By providing your business with a list of proven successful strategies to counter cyber threats, you work towards ensuring that the effects they have on operations are minimised, and that the business can continue to run smoothly and safely at all times. When it comes to practicing effective personal hygiene, the same standards are applied to everyone. Even if someone believes that they are not personally sick, they are still advised to practice the same hygiene standards as everyone else, as practicing a methodical hygiene routine promotes workplace morale, demonstrates a commitment to safety, and ensures that nothing is overlooked when it comes to the safety of personnel.
The same rigorous standards should be applied to a business’ cyber hygiene practices to keep its computer systems safeguarded, industry compliant, and running smoothly. Effective cyber hygiene is not just about dealing with existing information technology threats, but also concerns the development of a unified set of systematic processes and procedures that work at identifying and mitigating potential threats, before they have the chance to impact operations.
Are you interested in learning more about how strong cyber hygiene practices can keep your business’ information technology safe and secure, and uphold your reputation? Then please give Anitech’s safety consultants a call today on 1300 802 163. By giving them a rundown of your existing business computer management systems, they will be able to explain what potential information technology threats it faces, and some effective cyber hygiene practices that could be implemented, through an ISMS, to help your organisation protect its valuable assets. Doesn’t the implementation of compliant cyber hygiene practices sound like a tidy proposition?
Please click here to learn more about maintaining strong cyber-security, particularly when on a tight budget.