Keep your business safe
Following on from BTA’s recent Cyber Essentials Plus Certification, we’d like to offer some guidance on how to improve your own cyber security.
A few things of note:
- The cyber security industry is growing
- More malware is being launched than ever before: 230,000 new malware samples appear every day according to the latest statistics
- More resources are being deployed to counter cyber attacks, with global spending on cyber security products and services predicted to exceed $1 trillion over the next five years
- It has been predicted that cybercrime will cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021.
With those high figures, it’s easy to assume that hackers and cyber criminals only target corporations, banks or wealthy celebrities, but that is not the case. As long as you’re connected to the Internet, you can be vulnerable to cyber attacks.
Ginni Rometty, IBM's chairman, president and CEO, famously said, "Cyber crime is the greatest threat to every company in the world." Therefore it's important for business owners to be vigilant in protecting their computer systems and data.
Protect your company and employees from cyber crime with these essential measures.
- Get protection from viruses, malware and malicious code
Viruses are still common in 2018. Up-to-date anti-virus software and firewalls to block unwanted access are essential. It may sound simple, but make sure your workplace Wi-Fi network is secure; ensure that your router password is selected by you and does not stay as the default password. Adhering to these key elements of best practice can help secure your business in the long run.
- Update software regularly
We regularly provide updates to all our software products to fix security flaws and improve functionality, and so should any expert IT supplier. A good practice is to download and install these software updates as soon as they are available for your business.
- Establish cyber security best practice and training for employees
Limit employee access to the systems that they need for their jobs, and require permission to install any software. Give employees training about cyber security issues, such as suspicious or unsolicited emails asking them to click on a link, open an attachment or provide account information. Consider Cyber Essentials Certification.
- Use strong authentication
Ensure that employees and other users connecting to your network use strong user IDs and passwords for computers, mobile devices and online accounts. Consider requiring more information beyond a password to gain access to your business's network, and additional safety measures, such as two-factor authentication.
- Secure business smartphones
Mobile devices can be a source of security challenges, especially if they hold confidential information or can access your company's network. Require employees to password-protect their devices. Encrypt employee data and install security apps to prevent criminals from accessing the device while it is connected to public networks.
- Back up your data
Do it at least once a week. When backing up data use the same security measures (such as encryption) that you would apply to the original data. Additionally, in case your main computer becomes infected, regularly back up sensitive business data to additional disconnected storage devices.
- Use best practices for handling card payments online
Seek advice from your bank or a payment processor to select the most trusted and validated tools and anti-fraud services. Some providers offer confirmation calls with your financial institution before certain electronic transfers are authorised.
- Look for early signs something could be wrong
Monitor bank account balances regularly to look for suspicious or unauthorised activity.