5 quick ways to improve your Cyber Security

A recent UK Government’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey has found that 2 in 5 UK businesses have reported a cyber attack or a data breach in the last 12 months (1). These findings are suggesting to us that the level of cyber security breaches and attacks have amplified since Covid-19. A huge reason for this is remote working and businesses struggling to manage and oversee IT security whilst their employees are working from home.

Covid-19 isn’t the only reason for the increase in cyber security breaches, in a lot of cases it is down to the business itself and the lack of IT security tools and management. In fact last year 40% of businesses had some form of IT security tools implemented and this figure has dropped to 35% this year (1).

The underlying question here is how can you keep your business secured with cyber attacks and breaches steadily on the rise? We have discussed 5 key ways that you can boost your IT security and take measures to protect your business.

Multi-factor Authentication & Passwords

Passwords are what you would call the first line of defence against cyber security attacks and any other form of unauthorised access. The general rule is that the stronger the password, the more your IT is protected from malicious attacks. There are many websites on the internet that you can use to gauge how secure your password is, some will even tell you how long it will take to crack it – see here! (However please never enter your actual password into one of these sites)! We also recommend that your employees change their passwords every few months.

Use unique passwords for all of your different accounts. If for any reason one of your accounts is hacked and compromised, your other accounts will be safe as each requires a different password in order to access. If you use the same passwords across all platforms and accounts then they will be able to gain access to all of your accounts.

Ever heard of multi-factor authentication? This feature acts as the second line of defence, after your password, which will require the account holder to provide a code that has been sent to them.

Install updates

ServiceNow found that 60% of businesses have reported suffering a breach in the last two years as a result of outdated, vulnerable systems (1). They had the correct patches in place but did not install them in time to prevent a cyber security attack. 

This figure emphasises the importance of updates and the part they play in fixing any vulnerabilities to your IT system. Failing to regularly install these updates leaves your business exposed and this has been particularly seen with employees that are working from home. EEnsure that you have a clear process in place to regularly install updates, if you have an MSP they should of taken care of this for you.

Data back-up

With the number of cyber attacks on the rise, businesses need to prepare that one day their IT system may be compromised. The purpose of data back-ups is to create another copy of your data that can be easily accessed & recovered in the event of a cyber security attack, human error or system failure.

The British Chamber of Commerce has found that 93% of businesses that have been unable to retrieve their data for 10 days don’t survive (1). Therefore if you have a data back-up system in place your business will be able to quickly recover from a data breach with minimised damage & disruption.

Training

As we briefly mentioned earlier, sometimes data breaches can be caused because of human error and more so due to the lack of training on this subject and knowing what to look out for – particularly recognising phishing emails. If your employees are unable to spot scam emails, your business is being put at risk. 

Even simply not fully understanding the IT security procedures and obligations can lead to your business being exposed & put a risk. Training courses should be conducted annually to provide your employees with the knowledge and awareness of what to look out for to avoid potential cyber attacks.

Antivirus Software

An antivirus software runs in the background of your computer checking all of your files and identifying possible threats. This enables you to quickly remove any possible malware or infected files that have made their way onto your system. 

There are a lot of different types of antivirus software that come with a wide range of security features and pricing options. Albeit the cost of purchasing an antivirus software doesn’t come close to the cost that comes with cyber attacks and data breaches which is why you should ensure that your IT system has an antivirus software running on it.

 


 

Unfortunately many take IT security for granted and suffer huge expenses as a result. Cybercrime continues to increase year by year so businesses need to really analyse their IT infrastructure and security processes to ensure that they do not fall victim of cyber security crimes. For more information on cyber security visit our page here or speak to our IT experts by calling on 0121 289 4477.

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