Practical security recommendations – for you and your business

June 17, 2019  |  Innovate UK

practical security tips

Cybercrime is costing UK businesses billions each and every year.

Small businesses in particular are under threat, as they often take a more relaxed approach and a ‘not much to steal’ mindset. However, this lack of diligence has caused many companies to close permanently.

Let’s ensure yours isn’t one of them.

Time to start making the issue a priority!

Here are some practical security recommendations for you and your business.

Monitor and identify possible threats

First things first, you need to analyse how secure your systems are. Take a proactive rather than reactive approach to cybercrime.

Do a thorough risk assessment, analysing all areas of your business, paying close attention to any weak spots. Instead of waiting for an attack to happen and taking the necessary actions; reduce the chance of risks completely.

This involves:

  • Being aware of all the latest cyber threats (from phishing to hacking, there are many out there, constantly evolving and taking on new forms)
  • Keeping your operating systems up to date
  • Backing up data
  • Protecting all software
  • Using an effective password policy

Remember: this isn’t a one-off concern, but an ongoing issue. So, ensure cyber crime is a priority and keep monitoring all potential threats.

Educate your employees

Whether you’re a team of two or one hundred, every employee needs to be educated on the steps you’re taking to mitigate against cybercrime.

Bear in mind, this includes anyone who works from home. Ensure all laptops or tablets have the necessary endpoint security software.

This also includes any third parties or contractors who have access to any files on your system.

Dedicate at least one employee to being responsible for the issue: keeping everyone informed and taking the required actions to improve security posture.

Consider All Lines of Defence

A firewall is often the first line of defence in protecting you against attacks. These can be both internal and external. Employees should consider installing one on their home computers, for example.

However, this isn’t the only line of defence to consider.

Ask yourself questions such as:

  • Is your password policy robust?
  • Do you have the necessary cybersecurity insurance in place?
  • Do you have a record of everyone with administrative privileges?
  • Is your customer data safe?
  • How would your business cope in a temporary downtime period?
  • Could you consider multi-factor identification?

Find a partner

Finding a business partner is essential for many reasons, such as growth or development of new products.

It can also help you develop your security policy.

A partner could have access to new software that could benefit your business. Alternatively, they could identify weak areas within your company you may not have considered.

There are many cyber security businesses looking to collaborate, so use this to your advantage!  

Consider Mobile Devices

It’s not just computers, laptops and tablets you need to worry about.

Ensure that you include mobile phones in your cyber security policy. This could be requiring that the company’s password policy applies to all devices using the network, for example.

Install anti-malware software

There’s an abundance of anti-malware software out there. Should anyone cause a security incident, this can protect your company data and ensure an attack doesn’t happen.

Consider New Technologies

As technology is constantly evolving, so are ways to breach it. The world of cyber crime is an ever-adapting one!

Therefore, with new business innovation and growth sometimes comes new risks.

Ensure your security policy incorporates this and factors it in.

Don’t stop monitoring potential attacks: make the issue a priority.

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