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Top tips to defend your network from attacks

bluegrass group

Top tips to defend your network from attacks

Many SME business owners believe that there business isn’t a target for cyber attacks; assuming it’s too small, it’s not even national, why would anyone be interested in attacking my particular business?

However, following recent news that Microsoft has just been alerted to a bug (of the worst kind, scoring a 10 out of 10 on the common vulnerability scoring system (CVSS)) that has existed, unnoticed, within Windows DNS (the platform most commonly used by small and medium sized businesses) for more than 17 years, this is just not the case. This flaw just proves that weaknesses can exist, even in the most unlikely of places. So if you or your IT Provider hasn’t already, make sure you immediately download and install the latest Windows update to ensure you’ve got the patch in place.

The truth is SME’s get attacked all the time. Cyber criminals don’t care how big your business is, if there is a way in, they’ll exploit it. So with cyber crime growing in both scale and complexity,  there has never been a better time to defend your network from an attack.

Here’s our top tips to protect your business:

Regularly back up 

Avoid the disastrous effects of a cyber attack such as Malware or Ransomware by ensuring you are backing your data up to the Cloud. With our Back up solution you’ll receive enterprise levels of security protection, including encryption, which will safeguard your data from a cyber attack. So, as long as you have an Internet connect you’ll be able to access your data from any location on any device, anytime.

Plus, Cloud storage is a more cost-effective option than in-house hosting solutions or external hard drives which are costly to run and maintain, so you could save money too.

Get Cyber Essentials Certified 

Cyber Essentials is a government-led scheme, designed to help organisations address cyber security concerns and guide them on measures to reduce the risk of cyber attack.

Here at Bluegrass we’re approved by QG Management Standards (one of only four organisations accredited by the UK Government to manage the Cyber Essentials process) to help organisations achieve certification.

Participating in this scheme will give you the appropriate guidance and support so you can protect your business against common cyber attacks.

Once certified you’ll be able to demonstrate to customers, suppliers, investors, insurers and others that you’re taking cyber security seriously and have taken the necessary precautions.

Plus, if you wish to bid for government contracts which involve handling sensitive and personal information and the provision of specific technical products and services you must be compliant with the new Cyber Essentials controls.

Test and educate your staff

One of the biggest causes of cyber attacks on SMEs is human error and lack of cyber security awareness. If trained and educated correctly, your employees can be your first line of defense and not your biggest open door to cyber hackers.

Add cyber security on the agenda for your next team meeting. Take time to talk to individual staff about the different type of cyber attacks that exist. Communication is key to education.

One if the easiest ways to test and improve your staff’s cyber awareness is with a service called BullPhish Security Awareness Training. With a simple fixed price per month (no user limit) it provides continuous and long term cyber training to your all of your people.

The software sends mock phishing attacks to individuals across your business, it tests how they respond to these attacks and then provides appropriate training using short, engaging and easy to understand training videos.

With many employees still working from the comfort of their own home, cyber awareness can slip to the back of their mind, so it’s never been a more important time to educate your staff.

Don’t neglect your Firewalls

A firewall is like a locked door to your network, it prevents entry just like the door to your house. However if you don’t maintain your front door, cyber criminals will find it easier to break through. Knowing that you have a firewall in place is not enough, just like any piece of software it needs looking after.

Firewall weaknesses can come in lots of shapes and sizes, such as unsupported or out of date OS versions. Unused or forgotten services, rules that aren’t maintained which could create gaps in your protection. Neglected patches and configurations. All of these elements could pose a security risk to your business.

Speak to your IT provider if you’re concerned about the maintenance of your firewall and get peace of mind that it’s as tight as it can be.

Act now

Failing to protect your network is going to open up your business to unnecessary risks and cyber attacks and quite frankly could cost your business thousands of pounds.

Don’t leave yourself vulnerable, speak to your IT provider or in-house IT Manager today or if you’re looking for a new provider or some advice, give one of our friendly staff a call on 01392 207 194 or email us.

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