Cyberattacks may seem farfetched until they hit close to home. But if you own a workstation or use one, you could be a victim of a cyberattack at any time. Just as you would lock up your physical workstation to prevent intruders, you need to secure your virtual workstation against cybercriminals who are eager to access it.
Although attackers deploy several techniques to hack systems, their efforts are ineffective when there are strong cybersecurity defenses on the ground. So, if you are keen on securing your workstation, here are the top effective tips on how to do that.
1. Install Firewall Security
Firewall security, at its core, prevents cyberattacks by creating a barrier between your confidential information and the outside world.
Installing a firewall will prevent unauthorized users from gaining access to your network and notify you when an intruder is trying to break in. Unauthorized users will fail the firewall authentication process until they get the correct login credentials.
Implement effect firewall security that hackers can’t bypass by guessing your login details through a brute-force attack.
2. Update Your Antivirus Software Regularly
Viruses and malware are common online, and attackers can use them to penetrate your system. This is why you must double down your workstation security by using antivirus software to protect your systems against cyber threats.
Without antivirus software, viruses can delete important files, slow down your computer, or have other severe damage.
Antivirus software has a significant role in keeping your system safe by identifying real-time threats and ensuring that your data is safe. Most popular antivirus programs offer automatic updates, protecting your machine from any existing or emerging virus. Conduct regular virus checks to confirm that your computer is virus-free.
3. Secure Cached Credentials
Cached credentials allow remote workstations to successfully log in to a local credential cache that grants the computer automatic local access even if a domain controller is unavailable.
The best ways to secure cached credentials are to use strong passwords that will make it difficult to crack your cached credentials and disable credential caching on the systems that don’t need that activity.
4. Enforce Application Control Policies
Application control policies are a security approach that protects your network against malware. Enforcing application control policies helps you decide if you want to allow or prevent your team members from using productivity tools and apps.
When you enforce application policies, only approved applications will run. You can enforce application control policies by creating a list of eligible applications and identifying the rules for implementing these applications. Other requirements include maintaining the application rules and validating application control rules regularly.
5. Discard Local Admin Rights
One of the benefits of being a local administrator account is that you can easily upload and install programs on the computer without vetting or permission from anyone. However, it’s easy for the people in charge to misuse local admin rights, and part of that misuse could lead to hackers gaining unauthorized access to your network.
The alternative to this problem is discarding local admin rights by setting a standard user account that requests credentials before any performance can occur. Removing local admin rights keeps malware off your computers and closes access loopholes.
6. Track Privileged Activities
Tracking privileged activities helps protect your data and its systems from cyberattacks and data breaches. Threats from privileged user accounts are usually tricky to detect because they aren’t suspicious.
To combat privileged user threats, keep a close eye on their activities. Conduct a privileged user review regularly, regardless of your relationship with the user.
7. Restrict the Use of Personal Emails at Work
Restricting the use of personal emails at work or while connected to the company’s network is an excellent way to improve your workstation security.
When you connect your personal email to the network in your workplace, hackers can use that opening to hack sensitive data on the network. This security breach often occurs due to the ignorance of workplace teams. Educate your team members about the importance of this policy so that they can comply with it.
Not removing an employee’s access to your system after they resign can be a liability for the company. Inform your IT department ahead of the time you need them to revoke such access.
Timing is necessary because you don’t want the employee leaving to be unable to access the network before their departure, which may create an awkward situation. Similarly, you don’t want your IT department to delay removing their access after they leave, which can cause a potential risk.
9. Set Screen to Lock After 15 Minutes or Less of Inactivity
Although you can lock your screen manually, there’s a tendency that you’d forget to do that compared to when you set an automatic lock. When you finish working on your computer, or you want a quick break, ensure that you have a screen lock that uses a password.
Set your screen lock to come on after 15 minutes of inactivity. You can make the lock time less than 15 minutes, depending on your environment. That way, people with malicious intentions will find it challenging to log into your system.
Create a strong password for your screen lock, and avoid using dates of birthdays or anniversaries as your password. You can also use passphrases to tighten your passwords.
10. Restrict Employees From Turning Off Antivirus Software
Most times, computer viruses and cyberattacks happen to your system software because an employee disabled your antivirus software.
For instance, an employee working on a system gets frustrated because the system is lagging. They may disable several tasks, including antivirus software so that the system can work better. In this case, they would get the speed they need, but a virus can make its way into the system as soon as the antivirus software is down.
So, to ensure that you don’t expose your system to cyber threats, restrict employees from turning off antivirus software. Make provision for other ways they can get their computer devices to function properly.
Secure Your Workstation With Proactive Security
Since your workstation is where all your work activities happen, it’s one of your most valued assets. An attack on your workstation is an attack that will make a huge impact on your life, so you need to guard it religiously. The best way to secure your system is to adopt a proactive security approach.
You don’t have to wait until an attack happens to do something. Take the necessary security measures to solidify your cybersecurity. Implement the steps above to keep cybercriminals at bay. Should they come close, they’ll have no way to penetrate.
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