Cybercriminals: 5 tips to protect your business against them

The easiest way for cybercriminals to infiltrate your business is through the clicking of an unidentified link. It takes less than a second to action and causes an unmeasurable amount of chaos. However, this is not the only risk your small business faces when it comes to security breaches.  

Below, the top 5 tips for protecting your company against cybercriminals.

  1. Have security software in place and update regularly.

It may seem like an obvious statement, but it is phenomenal the amount of software and system updates and dismiss without actioning. With no defence against security threats we are leaving our companies vulnerable and opening our cyber world up to the opportunity to lose critical information, productivity and money. Did you know that when you receive an alert about updating your security, this comes after a malware or other security breach incident? It is important to continuously update and monitor your cyber security. The simplest way to set up a first line defence system in the form of a firewall. This antivirus software is in place to notify and defend against malicious, suspicious unauthorised activity. When it comes to small business, the potential attack from a cybercriminal carries a far greater risk than to a larger company as typically the security in place is deemed less protective. Cybercriminals bank of the idea that smaller businesses won’t expect to be attacked and therefore won’t invest in sustainable cyber security.  
  1. Back up everything.

The data on your business device is properly the heart of everything that you do, without it your business wouldn’t function, inevitably resulting in your lack of productivity. The chances are you hold important documents and software ladled with sensitive information. Modern devices have developed incredible storage space with hard drives capable of holding masses of data. On one hand, this is extremely useful to have everything in one place and accessible almost anywhere and everywhere. On the other hand, this creates a greater consequence of entire business loss. Back-ups are an easy way to protect your data simply by copying and storing elsewhere. External hard drives can be purchased at a decent rate and hold the heart of your business somewhere other than your personal device and hard drive.  
  1. Password protection.

Password protection has always been the art of balancing what an individual can remember with what another individual can guess. It might be stating the obvious, when recommending that log in details are not left on pieces of paper lying around a desk, but it is amazing the percentage of people who leave this information out on full display, for their ‘convenience’. Having it labelled on your desktop as Login details or Password List is just as compromising. The most effective way of ensuring that all employees have access to the various login details while reducing the chances of cybercriminals gaining access is to use a Password Management System. Using one of the systems creates an extra layer of security as the system must be accessed using individual log in, once logged in an employee can access all the different data needed, simply by clicking on the information for that site. The Password Management System automatically inputs in the username and password preventing the employee from needing to know the log in details. With less people knowing the definitive log ins it reduces the potential for cybercrime. Hacking is a lucrative business. Last year cybercrimes cost the UK an astonishing £29 billion. Can you afford to be part of the next attack?
  1. Educate employees appropriately.

Phishing remains one of the most popular hacking methods, because it exploits human weakness rather than the network. Systems can be put in place to flag and alert when a code or foreign object enters the internal network. However, humans are easier to manipulate than technical controls and so it is important to educate employees thoroughly.   Phishing tools are more accessible to the public which has enabled even the most inexperienced and unskilled hackers to produce a healthy hacking career. A common trick that cybercriminal’s have developed is imitating a CEO of a company, though this is more likely to prevail in a larger company, it is still something for small business to be proactive about. Cybercriminals work by sending fraudulent emails from a spoof CEO account to a lower level employee deceiving them into forwarding sensitive information.
  1. Insurance against cybercriminials.

Comparing 2017 to businesses from as little as 20 years ago, technology is constantly advancing the way that work is conducted. Alongside the many benefits technology has bought the disadvantage of cybercriminals in their masses. Cyber insurance is designed to support the business in the incident of data breach, most commonly known as an attack from cybercriminals that affects the computer system. Investing in insurance has become a popular trend for just about anything and the cyber world is not being left behind. While the insurance is still in the underwriting stages, it cannot hurt to invest and protect the security of your business.  
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