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  • Six sure steps to cyber security

    Cyber security

    Cyber criminals are out there searching for valuable data from businesses like your own such as credit card numbers, bank account information, email addresses, home addresses, and more. Sometimes they are even just searching for your valuable business data which they can threaten to lock away from you unless you pay a ransom. Due to the rapid increase in cybercrime it has become essential for any business to adopt cyber security and have a cyber incident response plan in place along with implementing some sensible risk management steps.

    Experts have been known to say recently that by putting in place some basic information risk management you can actually stop up to 80 percent of the cyber attacks taking place today. Cyber attacks themselves are not just limited to large businesses as you would imagine, in fact, in the UK a Government study discovered that 60 percent of small businesses have suffered a cyber breach costing between £65-115k. Cybercrime has cost the UK economy £5.26bn in total in just the past two years according to the Federation of Small Businesses. Due to such incidences the Government set up the Cyber Essentials scheme to help protect smaller businesses.

    So here are are six steps that you can implement now to help prevent a cyber attack against your business:

    • Invest in up-to-date cyber-protection software to secure your wireless network. Boundary firewalls and internet gateways can protect your data whilst scanning against viruses and malware. Out-of-date software can have vulnerabilities that criminals will exploit.
    • Implement a business continuity plan which will outline the correct response procedure following the possible disaster relating to cyber security. A continuity plan will help to limit the damage by focusing on getting the business back on track.
    • Identify the most important information within your business and keep it segregated from other data, granting access to only those who really need it whilst also keeping on as few computers/laptops as possible. Sensitive data, such as financial information can be encrypted which will mean that unauthorised users will be unable to access it.
    • It is often found that he human element is the weakest link in the security chain. Staff training on security issues, password strength, downloading of unknown files or programs, awareness of phishing emails and the risks involved are all critical to protecting your business and practicing cyber security. You should also be aware of cloud storage and ensure that any data is encrypted prior to uploading.
    • By scanning any external devices such as USBs, CDs and external drives, you can protect against any viruses being spread across the organisation and entering your network.
    • Cyber insurance is the last resort to protecting your business against the costs relating to cybercrime, but perhaps the first serious step that needs to be taken. Cyber insurance is in addition to your standard business insurance and will cover you against the losses relating to damage or loss of information from IT systems and networks. But it is important to discuss these matters with your insurance broker and cyber insurance is not an off the shelf product and differs wildly from business to business.
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