As the business world revolutionises, the way organisations operate will be even more dependent on digital technology to carry out essential business tasks. Operating on more advanced & sophisticated technology will generate an abundance of risks that businesses NEED to be alert and responsive too! The ability to safely secure sensitive data is a crucial element within any business and although organisations can implement certain strategies to mitigate the risk, cyber criminals are continuously looking for alternate ways to exploit weaknesses.
Protecting your organisation against malicious activity is a critical step in avoiding major disruption to your business operations. Despite thorough procedures and the implementation of security measures, it’s important to stay vigilant to suspicious activity as an extra precaution to ensure your data remains protected.
Discover the top 5 security practises that every business should know…
EMPLOY A FIREWALL
Installing a firewall is one of the first steps in protecting your organisation against malicious activity, as it acts as a barrier between the cybercriminals and your business. It acts as protection against cyber threats by analysing data and network traffic that is exchanged between your device and the outside world, to identify whether it’s safe to continue the communication. Depending on how your device was set up, your firewall will monitor suspicious activity and block anything that is detected that appears dangerous. It also protects your network from unauthorised access by creating a private, secure network – the first step in preventing threats from reaching your data.
During the current climate it’s more vital than ever to adopt sufficient security measures as more employees are now home working remotely and their networks may be susceptible to potential cyber-attacks. Installing a firewall to support remote working is a necessity to ensure you’re adhering to best practice guidelines and your organisations data is safety protected from hackers.
Combining or integrating anti-malware and/or anti-ransomware software with a firewall, will give your business an extra line of defence which will make it harder for cybercriminals to access your information.
AVOID UNKNOWN EMAILS WTH LINKS & POP UPS
A phishing attack is one of the most common and easiest forms of a cyber-attack that hackers perform in order to access sensitive data. A phishing attack usually presents itself as a normal email, which will entice the user into clicking a potentially harmful link or pop up. Most of the time cybercriminals will declare a sense of urgency within their emails so that the user panics and acts on the information provided. Usually this will look like an urgent bank request or a password reset, and hackers’ prey on this technique as they know a lot of people fall for it.
Cybercriminals can make emails look extremely convincing! For example, when you click on a harmful link, the landing page that appears could populate exactly the same as an official organisation’s website, which makes it harder for users to distinguish between phishing and genuine messages.
It’s so important that employees are vigilant to the content they receive in their inbox, as one “genuine” in appearance email could lead to numerous problems that could lead to viruses, ransomware or malware intercepting your network, that could potentially destroy your business. One way to help prevent this is to implement a spam filter which will help eradicate unnecessary emails from your inbox.
Educating your staff and raising awareness frequently within your organisation around general security practises should be a repetitive step within your business operations. Increasing your employee’s cyber intelligence will drastically reduce your risks of falling victim to a cyber-attack! Employees act as the last line of defence against harmful threats and most cyber breaches arise from human error!
Being alert and responsive is key in situations like this and referring back to the previous point of ‘avoiding unknown emails’, this will be the curve ball that catches most people out! Opening links or attachments from recipients you don’t know could cause security complications for your business if this isn’t managed effectively.
Generating more awareness within the workplace around cyber security will help prevent cyber threats from escalating and potentially causing significant damage to your business. Knowing how to SPOT, MANAGE & MITIGATE the issue is an essential step that employees should take in order to help protect their organisation and to make their working lives a lot easier!
One tool that businesses could employ in order to help manage this increasing issue is Cybsafe. This is a British cyber security company which specialises in software which makes it easier to assess and manage businesses human cyber risk. The Cybsafe technology encompasses data and science in order to strategically help individuals achieve their main objectives – cyber vigilance! It’s a powerful tool which engages the participant by using unconventional methods, so that the training isn’t tedious or complicated.
Organisations will see dramatic improvements in their security, as Cybsafe training reduces the amount of security incidents caused by human error, making your business more robust and secure for the future.
ENFORCE STRONG PASSWORD PRACTICES
Setting strong, robust passwords for your accounts is a key step in improving your security, so that cybercriminals find it harder to access your private information.
Setting a weak password for accounts which contain important data is very risky and could expose you or your organisation to cyber-attacks or identity theft. Cybercriminals are becoming more advanced in their methods and are now utilising sophisticated technology in order to exploit businesses.
Enforcing a strong, complicated password restricts the hacker’s ability to gain access to valuable information, so applying this method to all of your accounts is an essential but very easy step to do.
A suitable password should realistically include 10 or more characters which consists of lower & uppercase letters, a number, and a symbol and this should keep perpetrators at bay. As a good form of practise, your organisation should advise you to update your passwords every quarter, so that company data can remain safe & secure.
You may also want to utilise multi-factor authentication. This is a process in which a user is granted access to an application or web address if a series of questions are answered correctly or a OTP (One Time Passcode) is provided. By adopting this approach, it adds an extra layer of security to your business and prevents perpetrators from gaining easy access to applications and data.
FREQUENTLY BACK UP ALL DATA!
If your organisation stores confidential information and important data, then ensuring this is backed up is a MUST! In the event of a system crash or a cyber-attack you want to be assured that your data is safely secured, backed up and easily accessible. Most cyber-attacks aim to access, steal, or prevent access to your data. Typically, cybercriminals will insist that you pay a ransom in order to safely retrieve your files, which has been known to be thousands of pounds! No organisation wants the stress of your personal data being in jeopardy, which is why businesses should investigate different backup and business continuity options, so they have assurance their data is safe, secure and accessible in the event of a breach.
Regularly reviewing your businesses DR/BC strategy not only creates peace of mind your data is safe, it also puts you a step ahead of your competition when talking to existing and prospective customers as they will know you take security seriously.
YOUR BUSINESS SECURITY PLAN
Employing a regimented security plan for your organisation is an essential factor in keeping your business safe and out of reach from cybercriminals! You may already have a comprehensive security plan in place within your organisation, but implementing the above steps regularly is a key measure in maintaining consistency and a high level of security within the business.
It’s so important to stay alert to suspicious activity that could be circulating around your business! You could be the person that identifies the issue and manages it before the situation escalates into more serious repercussions. Supporting your co-workers is another important stage within maintaining efficient security standards, so enforcing good security procedures and regular staff training will give you a higher level of protection against cybercriminals and their actions.
DON’T THINK IT COULDN’T HAPPEN TO YOU!
Protect your business today by employing the necessary security practises that will divert cybercriminals away! If you need further advice or are interested in speaking to us regarding one of our solutions, then please get in touch with us at PCS!
Call us on 0333 150 6780, email or fill out the contact form below and a member of the team will be in touch.