With data breaches and ransomware attacks hitting the headlines as large organisations fall prey to advanced strikes, the challenges facing businesses of all sizes is all too clear.
According to the 2017 Cyber Security Breaches Survey, just under half of all UK businesses were able to identify at least one cyber security breach or attack over the previous 12 months. So, when it comes to securing your IT systems, what should you be thinking about?
Laying the ground works
Starting with the ‘nuts and bolts’- installing and maintaining anti-virus and anti-malware software on all your devices is an essential first step to keeping your network secure. The use of a firewall and encrypted WiFi network is also strongly advised, updating the password on a regular basis.
When it comes to your software and operating systems – these should be kept up to date with the latest versions in order to allow them to provide the best possible protection against attacks. It is also imperative that regular backups of all essential systems and data are created and stored securely off site – ensuring that they are up to date and working.
Make security a team effort
As cyber criminals continue to evolve their methods of attack, it’s not just malicious strikes that should concern businesses, but also accidental data breaches caused by insiders. All staff, regardless of their level, should be educated about common security threats and how they can be prevented.
Unfortunately, all too often security breaches are caused by a lack of understanding. In order to avoid being subject to phishing or ransomware attacks for example, staff must be aware of the danger of clicking links within emails, on social media, unknown websites or even apps. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) also presents a range of issues. Whilst allowing employees to use their own laptops and mobiles may cut costs, the combination of personal and business data on these devices can be disastrous. Encrypting work data, installing remote-wipe software and implementing policy-based rules that require the devices to be ‘locked-down’ in order to help keep them secure, can all help to battle these issues.
Think about your passwords
It’s very easy to fall into the trap of using the same basic password for multiple different logins – we’ve all done it. However, this leaves us open to attack. It is essential that we create strong passwords that are different for each system/website/service that we login to. These should also be updated regularly and should never be sent by email unprotected. In addition, two factor authentication is also well worth considering.
Understand your data
With the introduction of GDPR, we are much more aware of the importance of understanding and securing the data we hold. By carrying out a data audit and identifying exactly what you have, how it’s used, how it’s stored and what could happen if a breach were to occur, you’ll have a firm base from which to implement the appropriate processes and policies in order to keep it secure moving forwards.
Unfortunately, no business can be 100% secure – instead we should be focused on constantly monitoring and updating systems to patch any holes in security and limit the risks that are identified.
The creation of a comprehensive security policy should feature high on the ‘to do’ list of any business – not simply to outline how to protect it but to ensure that, should the worst happen, there are measures in place to handle it.
A comprehensive service
Keeping your business secure from attack has become an ever more difficult task. By working with a professional team of IT experts you’ll be able to relax in the knowledge that every step has been taken to protect your business, leaving you to get on with what you do best – running your company.
If you’d like to find out more about what we can offer, please get in touch here, or give us a call on 01872 561 656.