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Cyber security for your business

Nowadays, good Cyber security for your business is just as crucial to a company’s success as a good lock on the office doors (maybe even more so). In addition, unlike physical locks, cyber security is an ongoing process that protects your business, your employees, and your customers against ever-evolving threats.

It is important that you understand the threats that arise from using digital technology before you can protect your business.

  1. How does Cyber security for your business work?
  2. Can small businesses be at risk from cyber threats?
  3. Here are five tips to keep you secure
  4. While protecting your customers
  5. In terms of Cyber security for your business

How does cyber security work?

Cybersecurity refers to all the measures you take to prevent deliberate or accidental damage to your IT systems. It includes everything from minimizing the risks of lost data or hardware to protecting against malicious attacks, hacking, viruses, and espionage.

There are ten aspects of Cyber security for your business that the government recommends.

  1. Management of risk
    Includes a comprehensive strategy for addressing cyber risks.
  2. Having a secure configuration
    Means keeping your IT systems up to date and removing unnecessary features.
  3. Establish strong policies for remote working.
    Be aware of ways home working could expose you to vulnerabilities.
  4. Maintain good incident management practices.
    Have you developed a policy for responding to a cyber crisis?
  5. Protect yourself against malware
    such as viruses and ransomware?
  6. Adjust your permissions
    Ensure that no user has more privileges than they need to perform their job.
  7. Monitor the system regularly.
    How can you detect attacks as soon as they occur?
  8. Protected networks
    Consider the locations where your data is stored and processed, as well as the potential vulnerabilities.
  9. Disposable media controls
    Can workers take off-site hardware/software, and might they create vulnerabilities?
  10. Educate your users.
    Are your staff adequately trained in Cyber security for your business?

Learn more about the areas of Cyber security for your business that is most relevant to small businesses.

For small businesses, what are the main cyber risks?

Cyber-attacks are usually motivated by financial gain, although pure malice can also be involved. Specifically, money-motivated criminals are interested in data such as private financial information, customer details, and account credentials in order to commit fraud, theft, or extortion.

The following are some common methods used by cyber-attackers.

Computer malware

Any software program that steals information from a computer or network is classified as malware. These programs are commonly spread over the internet. Malware can be so sophisticated that it can allow criminals to remove sensitive data and even take control of the compromised device or server.

Cyber-phishing

Phishing is the act of trying to obtain sensitive private information through fraud. Emails mimic customers, suppliers, companies, and even government agencies in an attempt to trick the reader into opening attachments containing malware or entering their login details into fake websites.

Crypto-ransomware

A ransomware attack is a particularly nasty type of malware that locks down a system and prevents users from accessing files or using programs until they pay a ransom. Nowadays, criminals prefer to be paid with a credit card or cryptocurrency. There is no guarantee that paying the ransom will help in the least!

Attacks by DDoS

Cybercriminals don’t need to infect your systems to cause havoc. Also, they may use distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, in which they flood a server or website with requests in order to overwhelm it and force it offline. An attacker can use these attacks to gain access to a computer system or find vulnerabilities that can be exploited later.

There is a constant effort by cybercriminals to devise new methods of bypassing security systems. As a result, businesses need to think of Cyber security for your business as a continual process in order to stay on top of the game.

Five steps to protecting your business

Cybersecurity relies on proactive measures. As opposed to trying to react when an attack occurs, it is preferable to have strong defenses in place already.

To ensure your safety, here are some steps you can take right now.

1. Using passwords

Passwords remain the best option for preventing data theft. Strong passwords, however, should be used. Create a strong password by combining upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and special characters. You should also avoid words from dictionaries. Putting two memorable words together and turning some letters into numbers is a good tip. Therefore, ‘Badger Fox’ could be referred to as B4dg3rFox or better yet *B4dg3rF0x*.

Different passwords should be used for different software or systems, just in case someone with bad intentions (such as a disgruntled employee) obtains them.

2. Keeping up to date

In the fight against cyber-crime, you’re not alone. The programs and devices you use will all try to protect you, but you need to keep them up to date. You can usually set your devices to update automatically, and you should receive an alert when new versions of the programs you use are available.

3. Make a backup of your data

The essential information your business depends on needs to be stored in more than one place. So, if it is stolen or destroyed, you will be able to retrieve it quickly. The backup should be stored on a different system than the one you primarily use, or on a physical hard drive.

4. Firewalls and antivirus software

In order to prevent damaging viruses and files from getting onto your computers, this software works to detect them and filter them out. All business-related devices, including personal phones and computers, should have these applications.

5. Make sure your staff is educated

The only thing you can do is to make sure your employees do not come into contact with malware-infected websites or stop phishing emails from getting through. Take the time and effort to make sure everyone knows what to look out for, how to avoid it, and what to do if they accidentally click on a bad link or attachment. There are much more effective ways for Nigerian princes to ship gold into the UK than by emailing random people.

Make sure your customers are protected

Customers will also be concerned about Cyber security for your business. Your responsibility if you store things like email addresses, home addresses, and especially payment details is to ensure this information does not fall into the wrong hands (otherwise you could be held financially liable).

In addition to taking the steps outlined above, you may also wish to consider the following steps.

  • Establish a privacy policy that outlines exactly what data you store and how you use it. Provide this to all existing and new customers.
  • Protect customer data with encryption.
  • Manage customer financial data through third-party processors. As a result, you only verify that information is correct rather than storing it directly (these companies are likely to use more stringent and up-to-date security measures).
  • Test your website or computer infrastructure regularly for vulnerabilities.
  • Make sure you have a disaster recovery plan in case your data is lost or stolen.
  • Get cyber insurance.

Cyber security must be maintained

Make sure you stay on top of your Cyber security for your business once you’re satisfied that your policies and systems are as secure as possible. Future maintenance should largely revolve around checking for updates and continuing to train employees. People working for you are often the weakest link in your security chain, so time spent on their cyber training is rarely wasted.

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