Cyber Security: Are You Prepared?

Cyber Security: Are You Prepared?

Cyber Security is in the news more and more these days, and as a small business you will need to be aware of the implications it has. So, that’s why this week we take a look at why SME’s should take cyber security seriously.

According to a recent Cabinet Office report, cybercrime costs the UK economy an estimated £27 billion a year — £21 billion of which is stolen from businesses in the form of intellectual property and espionage. This staggering figure demonstrates the growing threat of cybercrime to businesses big and small — not to mention the consumers who give these organisations their personal data and information in confidence.

Despite a rapidly growing number of cyberattacks, many businesses are yet to implement a robust security strategy to protect their data and their customers’ personal information from cyber threats. So, here are 5 tips for small to medium businesses that want to safeguard their business:

Download software updates

Download software and app updates as soon as they appear. They contain vital security upgrades that keep your devices and business information safe.

Use strong passwords

Use strong passwords made up of at least three random words. Using lower and upper case letters, numbers and symbols will make your passwords even stronger. Require employees to use unique passwords and change passwords every three months. Consider implementing multi-factor authentication that requires additional information beyond a password to gain entry.

Delete suspicious emails

Delete suspicious emails as they may contain fraudulent requests for information or links to viruses.

Use anti-virus software

Your computers, tablets and smartphones can easily become infected by small pieces of software known as viruses or malware. Install internet security software like antivirus on all your devices to help prevent infection. Set antivirus software to run a scan after each update. Install other key software updates as soon as they are available.

Train your staff

Make your staff aware of cyber security threats and how to deal with them. The Government offers free online training courses tailored for you and your staff which take around 60 minutes to complete. Also establish basic security practices and policies for employees, such as requiring strong passwords, and establish appropriate Internet use guidelines that detail penalties for violating company cybersecurity policies.

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