5 steps to take for better cyber protection in 2021

Acronis
Cyber Protect

If there’s one thing that our recent Cyber Protection Week Global Report revealed, it’s that a number of vulnerabilities and strategic gaps continue to threaten the data security of personal IT users, corporate IT professionals, and IT service providers. What may be confusing matters is that many of the weak points our research uncovered stem from habits and approaches that were once best practices.

For IT users working to modernize their cyber protection, it’s time to rethink digital defenses to more reliably overcome cyberthreats and avoid data loss.

Abandoning legacy solutions and approaches behind can be daunting: but maintaining your data safety, accessibility, privacy, authenticity, and security for the future must be the key consideration – and outdated strategies and solutions are no match for today’s IT requirements.

To help individuals, organizations, and service providers looking to modernize their cyber protection approach, we’re recommending five initial steps to help make the transition to modern cyber protection easier and more affordable.

Regularly back up important data

While the majority of personal IT users and IT professionals perform backups, both the frequency and efficacy of those backups are lacking. Two-thirds of personal users back up on a yearly or monthly basis, risking the loss of weeks or months of work when they have to recover from a backup. At the same time, 87% of IT users and IT professionals admit that they don’t follow the backup best practice 3-2-1 rule – relying solely on the convenience of automated cloud backups while abandoning the local copies that ensure a speedy recovery following everyday data loss incidents.

To improve your personal or professional cyber protection, start by backing up on a daily basis and keep multiple copies of your backups, with at least one local copy for fast recovery and one off-site in the cloud to guarantee recovery in the event of a disaster.

Update your operating systems and applications

Outdated systems and applications lack the security fixes that stop cybercriminals from gaining access. Unfortunately, one-third of personal IT users take a week or more to patch vulnerabilities after they’re notified that one is available. Of those, 5% take longer than a month to perform these recommended updates, which means that in some cases (including Microsoft updates) there will already be new patches available before they apply the old patches.

Ensure that the applications and systems are up-to-date with all developer apps to eliminate known security vulnerabilities before they’re exploited. To simplify this process, consider investing in solutions that feature automatic patch management capabilities. These cyber protection solutions will streamline your patching process and help to deliver consistent protection from known security gaps.

Avoid suspicious emails, links, and attachments

Most malware infections are the result of social engineering techniques that trick unsuspecting individuals into opening infected email attachments or clicking on links to websites that host malware. Personal IT users and IT professionals are both aware of this threat: data theft and phishing attacks are among the top concerns for both groups.

Despite this awareness, data loss remains a common experience for both personal and professional users. Seventy-three percent of personal IT users and 49% of IT professionals saw data loss and downtime in the past year, suggesting a continued risk in the people, process, and technology currently defending their data.

To protect the data that matters most in 2021, individuals and organizations should stay informed and educated about modern cyberthreats. For IT teams, this education process can begin with company-wide cyberthreat training sessions that help to minimize human error and ensure all levels of your organization are prepared to face today’s cyber challenges.

Install modern antivirus, anti-malware, and anti-ransomware software

According to our 2021 Cyber Protection Week Global Report, the majority of personal IT users and IT professionals have already equipped cybersecurity solutions including antivirus and anti-malware. That said, this year’s increase in data loss suggests that these solutions aren’t performing as they should. It’s likely that a lack of awareness contributes to this paradox. Forty-two percent of personal IT users don’t know if they’re protected against zero-day cyberthreats and 68% wouldn’t know if their data was unexpectedly accessed or modified.

Modern cyberthreats can only be overcome with modern cyber protection solutions. Acronis Cyber Protection Solutions include built-in antivirus, anti-malware, and anti-ransomware capabilities that protect your entire system while providing visibility into the threats targeting you. With proactive, active, and reactive protection that extends to your data, applications, and systems – you can be confident that you’re defended against known and unknown threats.

Unify your defenses with a single cyber protection solution

The solutions and approaches that personal IT users and professional IT teams have relied on for years are no longer enough to ensure data protection and cybersecurity. Despite individuals and organizations enabling complicated patchworks of protection, data loss and downtime remain familiar, and increasingly costly, threats. Rethinking the approach to protection is essential to achieving a more reliable, holistic defense for the data, applications, and systems, particularly one that unifies and integrates these separate tools into a single, more easily and efficiently managed platform.

Acronis Cyber Protection Solutions – Acronis True Image for individuals, Acronis Cyber Protect for corporate end-users, and Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud for service providers, resellers, and distributors – deliver all of these benefits, unifying modern data protection, cybersecurity, and endpoint management capabilities into a single console and user experience.

Looking for even more cyber protection insights?

Get your copy of the 2021 Acronis Cyber Protection Week Global Report to learn how individuals and organizations around the world are approaching cyber protection. Gain a more tailored perspective of the modern cyber protection landscape and unlock findings unique to your team and market with our four Regional Deepdive assets:

More from Acronis