WatchGuard Blog

How to Be on Your CSO’s Cybersecurity Nice List

The holidays are here, and it’s the time of year when we all want to be on the “Nice List” While this is an enjoyable time of year for gift giving and gift receiving, it’s essential to do everything possible to stay on your CSO’s nice list. No one wants a cybersecurity lump of coal! Ensuring you’re on the nice list and not the naughty list can come down to a few simple tasks that keep your security in a safe space.


  • Use a hard-to-guess password/passphrase and another form of identification (ex: push notifications, biometrics, MFA) to protect your password information.
  • Immediately report all suspicious activity and cyber incidents to your manager and ISO/designated security representative.
  • Double-check the sender’s email and URL before clicking links. Don’t fall for a phishing attempt.
  • Locking devices before leaving them unattended. It takes a few moments for an unattended device to be compromised. Keep a close eye on devices and protect them when in public areas. 
  • Utilize a password manager. Keeping your sensitive data in one safe place makes it easier on you and harder for hackers to make their way into your information.
  • Work with your security service provider to get the most out of your security potential. MSPs and MSSPs want to help keep you on the nice list, not your IT team’s naughty list.


  • Leaving sensitive information (ex: written list of passwords) lying around. You don’t want a lump of coal. Keep your sensitive information away from compromised areas.
  • Posting private or sensitive information, such as credit card numbers, passwords, or other private information, on public sites, including social media sites. Unfortunately, hackers are lurking and waiting for users to leave their information out in the open.
  • Leaving unlocked devices unattended in public. Your local coffee shop might be super cozy, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good place to leave an unlocked laptop or tablet.
  • Clicking links from unknown sources. We all want to open presents this time of the year, but make sure you are opening the right presents and the correct links.
  • Using unsecured public Wi-Fi without a corporate VPN. Holiday travel is unavoidable for many, so it’s critical only to use a VPN when possible.
  • Plugging a random USB into a laptop. Protect yourself with simple measures. Assume a zero-trust approach to your security, and don’t use random USBs.

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