How to keep your business cyber-secure

Protecting your company against cyber-attacks might seem like an impossible task, but there are measures you can take to improve your defences. Our MD Andrew recently shared his top tips for staying secure with the Lancashire Post – you can read the full piece here…

With so much in the news about the importance of cyber-security for individuals and businesses alike, there’s no hiding from the very real impact that virtual crime can have. From the major Yahoo data breach last year to the NHS ransomware attack earlier in May, cyber-crime regularly dominates the headlines.

But despite this media presence, there’s a distinct lack of practical information about how to keep your company protected. So what can you do to stay cyber-secure?

The truth is that responsibility lies as much with a system’s users as it does with the attacker, so make sure you’re following these steps to keep your business safe:

Improve employee awareness

A company’s vulnerability is inevitably increased by human error, so employees should be provided with proper cyber-security training and encouraged to exercise caution when faced with suspicious emails or websites. While extensive courses can be expensive, useful and freely accessible resources are also available.

Choose a safe storage option

Storing and backing-up data safely is essential, especially with the new GDPR rules being introduced next year. Cloud storage from a trusted provider can be a great option, with more now offering encryption and additional security measures.

Invest in effective software

A small investment in anti-malware and anti-virus software will be far more cost-effective in the long run than the financial fallout of a cyber-attack. Once installed, it’s important to keep both systems and software up to date to ensure that the latest malicious programs are protected against.

Set strong passwords

As simple as it seems, setting up strong passwords is crucial. These should be at least 10 characters long, containing both upper and lower case letters, at least one number and at least one symbol.

Introduce usage policies

Having policies in place to cover software downloads, BYODs (bring-your-own-devices) and sensitive data handling helps make sure employees are all on the same page. These guidelines can also reduce the risk of downloading malware-infected files or breaching compliance restrictions.

Report any breaches

Any data breach should be immediately reported to ActionFraud by calling 0300 123 2040, and expert advice sought. A timely response will minimise damage and costs, and the GDPR will make failure to report a punishable offence.

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