Results for keyword: cyber attacks

Now, the topic of cyber-security – and the importance of it – is nothing new to the business scene. But despite SMEs knowing that effective defence mechanisms are crucial to help protect against cyber-attacks and hacking attempts, many still don’t have the optimum level of protection for their business.

And, with two thirds of SMEs – or 67% – being more concerned about cyber-threats now than they were 12 months ago, it goes without saying that it’s worth investing the time and effort into safeguarding your systems from a dreaded hacking or data breach situation.

While anti-virus software plays a key role in preventing pesky attacks from happening, unfortunately this alone will not conserve your SME’s cyber-safety – there’s a lot more to it than that…

So, if you do one thing this month, ensure your cyber-security is as strong as it can possibly be. We’ve put a few steps together to help you along the way!

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As a business owner, keeping your employees safe online sounds like it should be easy, but with the increasingly sophisticated hacking tactics of cyber-criminals, this sadly isn’t the truth – in most cases at least.

Despite the majority of threats originating from outside an organisation, all too often actual cyber-security incidents emerge due to the actions of someone much closer to the office – an employee.

There’s no hiding from the fact that 2018 was replete with cyber-attacks and data theft – with at least one breach appearing in the news each month, and it’s important to be aware that sadly, this trend is likely to continue in a similar vein throughout 2019.

In fact, it was only last week that one of the biggest data breaches in history was recorded – with 772 million email addresses and 22 million passwords having been leaked at once. So, how can SMEs ensure their staff – and systems – remain safe? Well, if you’re unsure, the following tips are a useful place to start…

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So, it may be a new year, but unfortunately that doesn’t mean that all 2018’s cyber-problems have disappeared in a puff of smoke. In fact, there’s lots of noise in the media regarding how 2019 is set to be an even bigger year for the ever-evolving technology landscape – with an increasing focus on cyber-security, ransomware and remote working.

With this in mind, what are the real IT issues and security trends that SME owners across the country should be keeping their eyes peeled for?

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Wednesday, 31 October 2018 09:00

Reach your IT peak: IT SOS

The adage of hindsight being a wonderful thing has never rung truer than when it comes to managing IT crises.

But for many SMEs, IT security strategy can feel like a bit of a minefield to navigate – with business owners being unsure on what equipment they need to prevent incidents from occurring.

Using the analogy of climbing a mountain, if you set off without adequate supplies and the right clothing, you may find yourself coming unstuck when trying to reach the top. It’s likely that the higher you go, the more problems you’ll encounter and the more underprepared you’ll feel – you may even need to call for back up.

The underlying message above can also be applied to a business in its growth stages. If your IT infrastructure isn’t evolving in line with your company’s needs, you’re potentially leaving your SME vulnerable to the dark side of the digital world – think hackers, for example.

So, an IT SOS plan may be a crucial component of your cyber-strategy – but just how and why do you need one? To reach your IT peak, of course!

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As IT and cyber-threats continue to evolve at a rapid pace, SME owners are increasingly having to upskill in these areas – not only to keep up with the latest tech, but also in order to shape a cohesive and effective business model.

But whilst some have accepted that cyber-strategy is a vital topic for discussion in the boardroom, others are sceptical about who should be carrying the bulk of the responsibility. A recent study found that 84% of directors believe their IT department is able to protect them against a cyber-attack, yet although this good faith in your team is important, trust shouldn’t be used as a shield to deflect responsibility away from board members.

So, why exactly should cyber-strategy be given a place at the boardroom table?

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Cyber-crime is an issue that undoubtedly spans the globe and with an ever-accelerating rate of technological evolution, it’s no wonder that incidents are becoming more commonplace – not to mention increasingly sophisticated! But is it really an issue that all organisations need to be concerned about?

The no-frills answer to that question is yes. Cyber-criminals don’t discriminate between business types or industries – and they certainly don’t let size put them off either. Whether a multinational corporation or a regional start-up, cyber-attackers show no mercy.

It’s in this respect that SMEs shouldn’t be lulled into a false sense of security and think that cyber-criminals won’t target their business – threats are around every corner of the digital minefield, and attackers are sure to strike if a firm’s guard is down.

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When it comes to protecting your SME against lurking cyber-security threats, there are a number of obvious steps you’ll have probably taken already – for instance, setting strong passwords, encrypting sensitive files, installing anti-virus software and warning employees not to click links in dodgy-looking emails.

But it’s also likely that there are some key vulnerabilities that you’ve overlooked in your preparations. However hard you try, the truth is that there’s always more that can be done to safeguard your company against a cyber-attack. So, whilst it might seem like you’re fighting a losing battle, don’t be disheartened! Getting the small things right does make a difference and helps to bolster your defences.

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Our MD recently penned a piece for Lancashire Business View about why SMEs need to be taking cyber-security more seriously. Why not have a read of his advice below…

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