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Cyber safety for the ‘New Normal’

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Cyber safety for the ‘New Normal’

As a South West IT provider who is passionate about Cyber Security, we wanted to share our top tips for staying vigilant through Covid-19. Even though restrictions are lowering, cyber hackers are still at large targeting any size of business, in any sector, all across the UK.

Remote working is now here to stay and will be well after Covid-19 has passed, so you need to secure your business with home workers in mind.

Here’s our top 4 tips to help you get it right:

Staff Education 

Your people can be your best line of defense or your worst. Hackers will look for any element of weakness to exploit your business and with employees now working in the comfort of their own home, security awareness might not be as front of mind as it was back in the office. The best thing you can do is to talk about cyber security with everyone employed. Take advantage of online cyber awareness training, update and share your security policies and ask staff about the devices they are using at home. Is their software up to date? What routers are they using and are they authenticated? Add it to the agenda of your next team meeting to make sure you’re staying safe.

Video Call Safely 

Most of us now have multiple video calls per week, whether via Zoom, MS Teams or any other similar platform. As great as video calls are, there are a few things you should follow to keep yourself and your data safe, especially to avoid a hefty GDPR fine. Firstly, only share your video meeting link with your selected participants, never post this link on social media or anywhere where non participants can access it. If there is an option to add a password for entry to the online meeting, use it. Some video conferencing tools offer a Waiting Room facility, allowing you to check who has joined before letting them in, which is another really handy feature. You can also block the recording of a video call by anyone but the host, preventing unknown participants stealing your information. If you find yourself frequently using video calls, consider purchasing a business grade account, rather than relying on free versions which don’t always give you full control.

Secure your Cloud

Many businesses understandably have shifted workloads to the cloud to enjoy the flexibility and usability that this way of working offers, especially as physical office environments stay empty. However this can create security risks such as data loss or a data breach if you’re not securing your cloud use sufficiently. It’s new territory for many business owners and awareness of cloud safety and security can be low. For example, Office 365 which is a cloud based application, actually needs a separate backup system in place to ensure full protection. Microsoft itself recommends you use a third party for data backups, but as it’s in the small print, most businesses don’t realise. Moving to the Cloud has revolutionized business operations during Covid-19, but it’s important to make sure you understand how to use it safely. Firewalls, data encryption, Mutli-Factor Authentication to name just a few. We always recommend you speak to your IT Provider who will be able to advise on the best cloud security measures for your business.

Say yes to that software update

With a remote workforce, it’s even more important that your devices are kept up to date as and when new releases are issued. Hackers are continuously trying new ways in which to exploit any found weaknesses and out of date software is a common route in. On the flip side, software providers are working equally hard to build fortes and defenses against changing cyber criminals tactics. If you don’t update to the latest release, you’ll be missing out on the latest cyber defenses that the provider has implemented. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) shows you how to easily turn on automatic backups no matter what device you’re using here.

Summary

Awareness is key when it comes to Cyber Security so make sure it’s always a topic on your agenda. Remind staff of the importance of staying cyber aware and set up as many automatic defenses as you can. We all want to enjoy the benefits that home working brings with increased flexibility, creativity and productivity, but don’t let it be at the expense of your safety and security. Remember cyber criminals don’t care who you are or what you do, if weaknesses are found, they will be exploited. Don’t leave yourself vulnerable to an attack.

If you want to find out more about protecting your business from cyber crime, simply give our experts a call on 01392 207 194 or drop us an email.

 

 



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