According to government statistics, just under half of all businesses identified at least one cyber attack – or breach – over the course of the past year. The cost of the attack can be up to five or six figures, with systems left without functionality and reputation often damaged. With this threat ever increasing for enterprises of all sizes, what can you do to protect your business from cyber attacks today?
Focusing on email security
Phishing remains one of the top methods that cyber criminals use to try and break into networks and devices. All it takes is one click on the wrong link and an entire system can be infected by malware, for example. Training your staff how to spot a phishing link and putting policies in place to ensure that you’re very clear on which emails are trustworthy is important. Encourage everyone to pause and think before responding to emails – and, if in doubt, to forward them on to someone else to check.
Introduce a device policy
In an era of flexible working and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), there are more opportunities than ever before for hackers to get into business networks. To protect your business it’s important to set out a device use policy that establishes what employees need to do to protect your business when connecting to your network. For example, changing default passwords on devices ensures that hackers can’t get remote access via the internet to that device. It’s also a good idea to restrict log on access and put regular network monitoring in place to scan for potential issues.
Improve password use
The most common password in both 2015 and 2016 was “123456.” This might be easy to remember but it’s also very easy to guess. Strong passwords prevent access to your systems – password managers can be used to help manage multiple different passwords in use. Passwords that provide access to your business network should be changed regularly and not shared between staff. Key components of a strong password include length, a mix of letters, numbers and symbols and avoiding words that make sense.
Implementing two-factor authentication
In the face of increasing cyber threats, login security has become crucially important and two-factor authentication is one way to make this more secure. This adds another layer on top of the standard username and password combination. It could be an ID number that has been generated by a third party application or it could be a hardware token that users carry with them. It means that if password and username are cracked by hackers there is still a layer of security that stands in the way.
Audit your networks
A network audit will reveal a number of important facts, including who is regularly accessing your network and which sites are being accessed. It will also provide useful data on network performance that can be used to optimise the systems you use.
At Building Zones we simplify IT solutions for connected workplaces. If you’d like to find out more about how we could help you to protect your business from cyber attacks, please get in touch.