According to GOV.UK, in 2022 a whopping 39% of businesses experience cyber attacks at least once a week. As cyber attackers get more savvy, and are coming up with new and more malicious ways to attack your business, prevention is the best way to fight against these attacks. By implementing these tips in your business, you can protect your company, and potentially save thousands.
Backup Your Data
Many cyber attacks look to delete or steal your data, so making sure there is a backup to important data could save hours of time, and a lot of money. Furthermore, backing up your data has minimal costs. Not only is this beneficial in case you are a victim of a cyber attack, this is useful to do in case you have technological issues. The best ways to backup your data are-
1. Daily backups to a portable storage device
2. Server backups every month, quarter, and year
3. Use a Cloud server to back up all your data
4. Use a combination of external and Cloud drives
Encryption, Encryption, Encryption
Ensure that you have turned on network encryption, and encrypt all of your data when sending or storing online. Encryption basically turns your data into a code before you send it to someone else online.This vastly reduces the risk of data theft or destruction. Turn on your network encryption through your router settings, or installing a VPN. VPNs are extremely important when it comes to using a public network.
Secure your devices and network
Making sure that your devices and networks are secure are fundamental to protecting your business against cyber attacks. The best ways to secure your devices and network are-
Keep your software updated
Making sure that your software programmes are set up to update automatically can be incredibly important when protecting your business. New updates can contain important security updates that protect you against new cyber threats. These updates can be set up to be conducted outside of working hours, so having automatic updates doesn’t necessarily mean your business will lose money.
Install security software
Security software will protect your business computers and devices against infections. Ensure the software has anti-virus and anti-spyware filters to protect your devices to the best of your ability.
Get a firewall
Installing a firewall, which is a piece of software that acts as a wall between your device and the internet, acts as a gatekeeper for all incoming and outcoming traffic. Setting one up will protect your business’ devices from viruses, but they will need to be updated often to be worthwhile.
Turn on spam filters
This will drastically reduce the amount of scam phishing emails that your business will receive. These scam emails can make your devices infected with viruses or malware. The best thing to do with these emails is just delete them, bit a spam filter will stop many of these scam emails before they get to your computer.
Train Your Staff
Making sure that your staff are trained in how to protect your business from cybercrime can be an excellent defence against cyber attacks. It’s important to educate your staff about the dangers of cyber threats so they can protect themselves.
The best ways to educate your staff are:
1. Regularly giving your staff top tips to ensure they are keeping alert
2. Telling them how to identify a cyber attack
3. Giving them training on what to do when they see a cyber threat
MFA is a verification security process that requires you to provide two examples of proof of identity before you are allowed access to an application. For example, an MFS system would require a password and a code sent to a phone number for authentication. This acts as an extra layer of security for your data and your business.
Use passphrases instead of passwords
Passphrases are much more secure than passwords. Passphrases are a collection of words that act as a password, but are much more secure. They are pretty simple for humans to remember but difficult for machines to decipher. A good passphrase should be
Aim for passphrases that are about four words pushed together, as the longer the passphrase is, the harder it is to decipher.
Include a lot of different character types, like lowercase and uppercase letters, special characters or numbers in your passphrase to make it harder to crack
A group of unrelated words that cannot be linked together make a better passphrase than a common sentence
Don’t use the same password for all of your accounts- use many different ones.
Keep a record of all of the devices and equipment your company owns, and make sure they are secure to prevent non-employees gaining access. Make sure your employees know to be careful about where they are keeping their devices and the networks they connect their devices to. Give them reminders about the dangers of using hard drives, as unknown viruses can be easily transferred via USB sticks.
Furthermore, make sure you remove any sensitive information from devices that you don’t need anymore. Make sure you keep on top of your employee roster, and remove ex-employees from having access to the information kept on your devices. Monitoring your device usage like this makes it easier to protect against cyber attacks.
Consider a Cyber Security Service
If you’re unsure what cyber security services are, your business can employ a company to optimise your business and make sure that you are fully protected against cyber attacks. Many businesses go elsewhere to make sure they are protected from online threats- 48% of companies report seeking guidance from cyber security services. Consider seeking help from outside your organisation to make sure you are as safe as possible.
Update Staff Policy
A Cyber Security Policy outlines the
- Technology you need to protect
- Possible attacks to those threats
- Guidelines for protecting them
Consider updating your staff policy to make it easier for your employees to know exactly what to do to keep your business safe. Setting out rules in your policy such as social media presentation can protect hackers from targeting your business. Establishing a protocol for reporting a possible cyber attack or breach can save you a lot of time- the earlier you catch a possible attack, the easier it is to fix it. In the event your technology unfortunately is compromised, setting up a ‘cyber attack response plan’ can keep removing or fixing cyber threats so much easier.
Implementing all of these can protect your business so much better from the constant threat of cyber attacks. As the internet is evolving to become a more prominent part of our lives, cyber scammers are becoming more sophisticated. Putting cyber protection at the forefront of your business priorities will only save your company a precious amount of time and money, and keep your business running successfully.