7 ways to increase your SMEs cyber security
No matter the size of your organisation, cyber criminals are out there trying to break into your systems, day in and day out.
Even the smallest of companies can hold large amounts of sensitive and personal data. If this data ends up in the wrong hands, the damage can be catastrophic, both financially and on your reputation.
The good news is, there’s lots you can do as a business owner or manager to combat this risk.
We’ve outlined our top recommended strategies for taking your cyber security to the next level:
Secure your network
Think about all of the entry points to your business’s network. Laptops, mobile devices, computers – these are all perfect entry points for cyber criminals. Preventing entry via these gateways is easy with the implementation of strong authentication measures. Think two factor authentication and strong passwords on all devices and Wi-Fi.
Consider new security measures
Ask your IT partner to talk you through additional security measures on offer that you don’t already have. You’ll be surprised at how affordable they are. Many only costing a small and predictable monthly fee per month. Antivirus protection is the minimum requirement, but also consider email protection, SAAS for 365 and advanced data protection among others. Also don’t forget about considering using a virtual private network (VPNs). A VPN gives you online privacy and anonymity by creating a private network from a public internet connection.
Back up your data
One of the most common types of cyber attack is ransomware. It’s where hackers hold your business hostage by restricting your access to your data until you pay a ransom, hence the name. The best way to prevent this concern is by storing your company data on multiple platforms and networks. Consider backing up your data to the cloud, as the most cost effective and convenient way.
Train your team
People can be the weakest link when it comes to a business’s cyber security. This is quite often down to a lack of understanding and awareness around the importance of cyber security and the impact of a breach. A large number of attacks are caused by an innocent click on a bad link, or the opening of an unknown attachment. Thankfully, the easiest way to combat this problem is staff training. Every new starter should undergo cyber awareness training when they first start and it should be rolled out every year for existing staff too to keep it front of mind.
Consider staff access
Lots of today’s tools and software platforms allows you to restrict access per user and per role. Make use of these restrictions, rather than allowing all staff to access all of your systems and data. Consider what they actually need access for and restrict everything else. This reduces the risk of human error but also prevents potential internal threats putting your data into the wrong hands.
Regularly review and revisit your cyber security
Just like technology is improving all the time, so are the cyber criminals in their efforts to attack your business. Once you have implemented these security measures, you then need to test them. Consider an annual audit on your business, allowing you to identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses in your systems and network. Consider partnering with an IT support company who can look after all of this for you and proactively suggest new security tools as they become available.
Don’t forget to click ‘Update’
It might seem easier to keep postponing those update alerts on your devices and software until you ‘have time’ but ignoring these requests puts your business in a vulnerable position. Prevent this risk by simply regularly upgrading and updating your devices and software. If you’re unsure if your device is due an upgrade, check with your IT partner who can easily advise on this.
By taking up these strategies, you’ll enjoy peace of mind that you’re doing everything you can to protect your business and it’s data from attack.
If you’d like any help in ensuring your cyber security is as effective as possible, contact us for an informal chat on 01392 796 779, email us or start a live chat on our website.