Tips That Can Help Keep Your Company Safer Online
Recent, high profile ransomware attacks may suggest otherwise, but it’s still perfectly possible to run your small business more safely and securely online. However, you need to identify the threats you face, develop a comprehensive cyber security plan and ensure everyone follows it.
A report last year suggested that 43% of global cyber-attacks targeted small businesses. While it’s true that only around one in forty are affected (compared with one in two large businesses), there’s no room for complacency.
The cost implications of an attack are obvious – compromised bank accounts, service outages, financial penalties due to lost business records and, of course, the repair bill.
However, what can also be lost is trust. When customers cannot access a service they rely on, the reputational cost is incalculable. And if you leak their data online, you could be legally liable for the consequences.
How to Keep Your Business Safer Online
The best way to help avoid attacks is to ensure you’re not an easy target, but as the various threats continue to evolve, eluding them will require an ongoing commitment. Here are seven fairly simple but effective precautions that will get you started.
Protect your systems
Install anti-virus and anti-malware software on all devices.
Keep Everything Updated
Regularly and promptly update all operating systems and business software to avoid hidden vulnerabilities.
Back Up Regularly
Keep the latest copies of all your files on a completely separate system and diarise regular checks to ensure they work.
Discourage Weak Passwords
No business should use passwords such as ‘12345’ or ‘password(!)’. If you’re having trouble remembering them all, consider installing a password manager programme.
Encrypt Your Most Sensitive Files
If you hold highly sensitive information, encryption will at least make it unintelligible to data criminals.
Train Your Staff
In the most recent HM govt survey, only 22% of small businesses had had cyber security training. Safe online behaviour is everyone’s responsibility and should be embedded across the company. This will minimise commonplace threats such as emails that lead to phishing scams.
Consider Cyber Insurance
As a last line of defence, insurance can provide financial relief in the event of a cyber-attack.
More Small Business Guide
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Technology has made it easy and affordable to back up your small company’s critical information.