Cybersecurity basics for business

by Business Case Studies on Tuesday 1st August, 2017

The impact of cyber crime can be devastating. A UK government report suggests cybersecurity attacks can cost large organisations up to £3.14 million and smaller enterprises around £311,000 on average. In addition to the visible costs, breaches can also disrupt operational efficiency, tarnish brand image and threaten long-term business continuity. Just a few basic measures will help you to start building a cyber security solution that will protect your enterprise from these consequences.

Update software and OS

Updating your software and systems is an often overlooked aspect of a robust cybersecurity solution. A failure to initiate updates can leave systems unprotected and vulnerable to the scores of hacks and attacks that threaten modern enterprises every day. Ensure your security software is up to date and that firewall, anti-virus, anti-fraud and anti-malware is installed. You should also be aware of the latest threats so make use of resources that offer advice and tips about Mac privacy and security and cover cyber challenges on Windows.

Backup and restore

Data is the lifeblood of a modern business and any cyber attack could lead to loss of critical information. Enterprises now store huge masses of “big data” so it is important to have a strategy in place to backup these data sets in the cloud or on a server located on a different premise. Data disasters cost businesses $1.7 trillion in 2014 according to a study by EMC so a holistic strategy is key. Make sure your backup plan covers every connected device including smartphones and printers.

Security culture

You will need to create a culture where security is at the core of every business decision you make. To do this, start by introducing clear guidelines for employees, train them and put procedures in place to ensure they are meeting obligations at all times. Cooperation across the business will be key to meeting the growing security threats in the coming years.

Improve passwords

Passwords are a blind spot for many enterprises due to the abundance of ‘123456’ type entries made by employees. Authentication hacking tools are growing in complexity so your first line of defence needs to evolve with it. Any passwords used should be made of up a diverse range of letters, numbers and symbols. A random sequence of words is also effective. Remember not to share passwords either or reuse them.

Start simple

Basic security measures have still not been implemented by many organisations. The vast majority of hacks are actually quite straightforward so the importance of covering rudimentary principles to begin with cannot be overstated. Phishing emails and malware attachments, for example, appear to be an obvious threat but they can be particularly effective if an employee is not vigilant. Merely focusing on advanced persistent threats can leave you exposed. Try to adopt a risk averse approach to the opening of any emails and again, making employees of aware of the dangers can really make a difference.

Roadmap

To implement all of these tips and tactics, determine a security roadmap for your business. There should be clear step by step objectives and a defined end goal. Building IT with security in mind is the best way to mitigate risks and threats in the long term.

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