According to a 2017 PWC survey, cyber security ranks among the top two concerns for those in the business world. These are concerns that are well founded, as 2016 figures from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport found that the number of UK businesses experiencing cyber-attacks doubled last year. The average cost of an attack can be anywhere from £1,570 to £19,600 – rising to six figures. So, cyber security is now something that every company needs to be on top of.
Guidelines for protecting your business
The National Cyber Security Centre provides some key guidance for businesses looking to take steps to prevent cyber-attacks. That guidance includes:
Keep software and patches up to date
Many cyber-attacks gain traction thanks to software vulnerabilities in operating systems, web browsers, browser plug-ins or applications. These are often vulnerabilities that are well known and updates and patches may already have been issued. However, if your systems aren’t up to date then you won’t have the latest defences in place and your company will be vulnerable to attack.
Ensure that you have a data back up
Cyber-attacks such as ransomware are often so devastating because they block access to essential business data. So, if you are regularly backing up all your essential information you can at least avoid loss of business continuity that a cyber-attack could cause.
Restrict access and user privileges
Cyber-attacks can only get so far within a company if there are various gates and restrictions in place to halt them. Restricting user access to sensitive systems and data only to those who really need it will reduce the threat to the most crucial elements of your business. Plus, if something does go wrong you’ll be able to see exactly where the problem came from.
Carry out a cyber threat assessment
If you want to be able to defend your business against cyber-attacks then you need to start by identifying potential weak points and vulnerabilities. A cyber threat assessment will show you where you’re most at risk so that you can protect against the actions of others who might identify the same weak spot.
Sensitive data and critical information can be protected with encryption. This will encode information so that only those who have a key are able to access it. It means that if your systems or devices are compromised you have at least a first line of defence against what someone can do with the theft of sensitive information.
Be aware of the threats from devices and removable media
Flexible and remote working, where staff are connecting their own devices to internal systems or transferring data via removable media, create new cyber security risks for businesses. Make sure you have a policy in place so staff know what is expected of them when it comes to this kind of use. Limit access to only those who genuinely need it and scan all media for malware.
These are just some of the ways in which you can start protecting your company from cyber-attacks today. We offer a simple and accurate cyber threat assessment for businesses across multiple offices and remote working – if you’d like to find out more get in touch with Building Zones today on 020 3475 2185.