Protecting your business from cyber-threats in 2017 – top 10 tips

Cyber-crime is on the rise and every business is at risk. Become a victim, and it could have a real impact on your business!

Disrupting operations, tarnishing your reputation and impacting on your bottom line.

In this post, we share some top cyber security tips for 2017 – showing you how you can protect your business, reduce the threat and minimise the impact of cyber-attacks through the right cyber security software, systems and in-house procedures.

  1. Know your business is a target

It doesn’t matter what your business does, or how big it is – cyber-crime is a real threat! Don’t dismiss the risks or imagine it won’t happen to you. Every year, 20% of UK businesses become victims of cyber-crime, and the vast majority of these attacks could have been avoided, mitigated or prevented had the business taken the appropriate preventative actions.

  1. Protect your hardware against common threats

Ensure that all the computers in your organisation are effectively protected with high quality cyber-security software, designed to protect your computers from common threats like viruses, malware, spyware and ransomware. Your system is only as strong as its weakest link – every piece of hardware needs to be protected, and all software needs to be kept updated at all times.

  1. Invest in backup and disaster recovery systems

Should your business fall victim to attack, being able to restore systems and operation-critical data quickly is essential. Investing in the right cloud backup and disaster recovery systems will help to minimise costly downtime, and ensure that your organisation can get back in business as quickly and painlessly as possible.

  1. Protect customer data and get ready for GDPR

Personal customer data is highly prized by cyber-criminals, and it’s your responsibility as a business to keep information safe. In 2018, new GDPR legislation setting out clear guidelines on how businesses can use, store, protect and manage sensitive personal data. Fail to comply with them, and you could risk massive fines. Find out more about GDPR, the risks and preparing your business for compliance in our recent GDPR blog.

  1. Secure your network

Protecting your network from unauthorised access is a key part of any effective cyber security programme. Depending on your business and operations, this could mean a combination of multiple actions, including: disabling access from the outside network, hiding your Service Set Identifier, encrypting the wireless access point, using a firewall and regularly monitoring and scanning the network.

  1. Have a cyber-security plan

Those who fail to plan, plan to fail – so make sure you have a clear, written out cyber security plan, establishing firm policies on key topics like:

  • Use of devices
  • Network usage
  • Data protection and handling
  • Backup systems
  • Home-working
  • Email usage
  • System privileges and access
  • Response to attacks

Set these policies out clearly, and make sure every employee has them. Set out penalties for failing to adhere to the company plan.

  1. Educate your team

Often, a business’ own employees are the weakest link in the cyber security programme. Arming your team with the right knowledge about cyber security and potential threats is one of the best ways to protect your business. Teaching them about key topics like password security, data protection, how to spot and react to common threats, and giving them the confidence to raise their suspicions and act in the right way will provide a valuable extra layer of protection.

  1. Get physical with your protection

Whilst the latest cloud systems and cyber security protection software are essential – it’s important to think about the physical safety of your computers and network. Taking steps to prevent the physical theft of hardware and to stop unauthorised access to your servers through effective room access and physical locks is essential. If outside personnel need to use hardware, ensure they are properly briefed and supervised.

  1. Stay updated

Whatever software your business uses, it’s essential that everything is kept updated and patched at all times. Over time, vendors become aware of security risks and vulnerabilities in their software – leave it unpatched, and you’re leaving it vulnerable to outside threats.

  1. Protect your mobile devices

Cyber security doesn’t end at the office – in 2017, it’s just as important to protect mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets. Often, these devices can be used to access the corporate network and confidential data, so ensure that they have the same level of security as your in-house hardware in terms of password protection, data encryption, and cyber security applications.

Holistic IT – Protecting your business since 2003

At Holistic IT, we are cyber security specialists – with an excellent track record in protecting businesses, schools and other organisations from a wide range of cyber threats. Whether you need cyber-security software, system advice or consultancy, we are here to keep your organisation safe.

For additional information, or to discuss your requirements with a member of our expert team, call 01302 23 50 50, or email info@holistic.it today.

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