Cyber Security Month: how to make sure your business is cyber secure

Oct 19, 2020

Unfortunately, no business whether it is large or small, is immune to cyber threats, and that’s regardless of what industry it operates in. A recent 2020 GOV.UK survey (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cyber-security-breaches-survey-2020/cyber-security-breaches-survey-2020), has revealed that cyber attacks are happening more frequently than ever before. In the last 12 months, 46% of businesses and 26% of charities have reported security breaches or cyber attacks. As a business, you can minimise the risk of cyber attacks by taking action, and implementing a few simple steps to help protect your business online.

Here is a list of tasks you can do to eliminate the risk of a cyber attack on your business:

1. Always make regular backups of your data, and keep copies off-site in a safe and secure environment.

2. Keep up to date with the security patches for all your software, including your operating system, web browser and devices.

3. Ensure that you have anti-virus and anti-malware software installed on all your devices, and regularly check for the latest update. They can often be set to auto-update.

4. Only ever use strong passwords, do not ever share them and change them often. As an additional measure consider using two-factor authentication.

5. Don’t use the same password for a variety of websites or online services. Use a different password for each, and better still, use a reputable password management tool.

6. Never send passwords or sensitive data via email unless it has been encrypted first.

7. Be very cautious about clicking on links within emails, unfamiliar websites and social media.

8. Check that your internet router has the latest firmware installed, and if possible use a firewall.

9. If you have a Wi-Fi network it must be encrypted (e.g WPA2) and always regularly change the Wi-Fi password.

10. If you are accessing email remotely, or your business system is in an insecure public Wi-Fi location, always use a VPN (virtual private network).

As a business owner, it makes good sense to develop a risk management strategy to include security breach detection, which is backed up with an incident response action plan. This will increase the resilience of your business.