Cyber Security Awareness Tips for Businesses

June 18, 2018 | Innovate UK
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We’ve all heard of cyber crime and the need to protect ourselves from it. But, what impact does it actually have on businesses?

What you may not know is that cyber crime is costing UK businesses around £30 billion a year, and this figure is rising. Many businesses have had to close as a result!

But, there are many steps businesses can take to tackle cyber threats. It’s time to start taking the issue seriously!

Not sure where to start? Following are some essential cyber security awareness tips for business.

Identify All Possible Threats

“Cyber Risk Reviews must consider IT in your facilities such as AirCon, Lifts, Doors, Alarms & CCTV not just networks” – Cevn Vibert, Industrial Cyber Security Advisory Director at Vibert Solutions

First things first: work out how secure you are currently.

Before you take any other action, run a cyber security audit. This will allow you to work out your current situation, while identifying any potential threats.  Remember, threats can come from both internal and external sources! For example, if employees are using home devices at work, they could be infected.

When it comes to protecting your business against cybercrime, it’s important to be aware of all the potential threats. Staying up to date will help you know what you’re up against! From cookie theft to phishing viruses – there’s a lot to think about. The world of cybercrime is constantly changing!

Some things to think about include:

  • Are you backing up your data regularly?
  • Have you installed malware?
  • Is your password policy effective?

Consider all possibilities. Sometimes, malware isn’t enough to protect against attacks! Hackers will be able to target your businesses’ weakest link, so make sure they have nothing to take advantage of.

Make Cyber Security a Business Priority

‘Don’t wait for an incident to occur, act now to protect the network and assets within it. Failure to do so can have significant impacts financially and impact the reputation of an organisation to a degree which they may not recover from’ – Dan Driver, Head of Perception at Chemring Technology Solutions

After you’ve carried out your risk assessment, it’s time to start thinking strategically.

It’s your responsibility to make sure all employees are aware of your security plan – and that they stick to it. Anyone who doesn’t get on board could jeopardise the entire process!

Having a plan in place is particularly important when sharing data with third parties. Make sure they’re compliant with your new policies!

Take extra care when it comes to passwords. Make sure:

  • They can be reset easily
  • They’re difficult to guess
  • They’re stored away from the device

To defend your business from cyber threats, keep monitoring and testing security controls. If you’re aware of unusual activity, you can take measures against it.

Leverage Existing Schemes

‘The most important stuff isn’t complex. Getting the basics right with Cyber Essentials can greatly reduce the threats’ – Richard Bach, Co-Founder & Director at XQ Cyber

So, keeping all this in mind, how do you go about protecting your business?

There are a number of solutions and schemes out there to help you.

For example, the government-backed Cyber Essentials scheme is specifically tailored to help smaller businesses. If followed correctly, it can help protect against 80% off all cyber threats.

Also, USM Anywhere can help you not only detect threats, but deal with them quickly. Its threat monitoring is continuous, giving you the best chance of staying safe from cybercrime.

So, while cyber threats are a daunting topic, there are many schemes to help you stay protected!

Assume You’ll Be Hacked (or already hav been)

‘Prepare and test a plan to identify, communicate and recover to ensure you can rapidly resume business with limited impact’ – Sam Smith, Head of Digital Risk and Security at Cadent Gas Ltd

It sounds pessimistic, but, prepare for the worst.

If you’re prepared for every outcome, you can tackle cybercrime much more easily!

Keep your organisation safe by backing up your data regularly (including customer data), and ensuring you’re aware of how to cope with a period of temporary downtime.

Give your business the best chance of staying secure!

Want more essential business tips like these? Follow Innovate UK on Twitter or subscribe to their YouTube channel here.

Innovate UK

About the Author: Innovate UK
Innovate UK are the British government’s innovation agency. They are focused on finding British businesses and entrepreneurs who can use new science and technology to drive economic growth.
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