Around 80% of cyber attacks happen to small and medium-sized businesses. Protect your business and private information from cyber crime by being smart, safe and in control. As a business owner, there are many things you can do to help protect your business from cyber attacks.
As professional private investigators specialising in digital intelligence, PEL Investigations helped countless small businesses test and improve their network and data security.
The first thing to know is that cyber security is not just a one-off investigation: it should be an ongoing best practice with regular checks and balances so you are not caught unawares or you know what to do if you are.
How to protect your business from cyber attacks:
Here are some tips to shield your organisation from cyber threats and prepare in case you fall victim to one.
1. Develop a disaster recovery plan and train your staff to follow it.
Your incident response plan should be a well-beaten path to a swift response, resulting in further strengthening of your cyber security. In your plan, make sure you secure sensitive data first. Many security breaches are a result of tricking employees into citing sensitive information, so t’s critical you ensure every person in your team is trained to recognise common cyber threats such as phishing attempts.
2. Keep all your software updated.
Software updates don’t just make programmes run faster and smoother; most updates are crucial to maintaining data security. All your employees should be using the most up-to-date version of the software.
3. Encrypt and back up all your data regularly.
Even if you have robust security measures in place, if ransomware does attack and manages to wreak havoc, they could attack the backup software itself to corrupt the backup files. Be sure to encrypt all sensitive data, including customer information, employee information and all business data. Archiving data is usually crucial to a successful recovery and an easy fix with today’s facilitated access to cloud storage.
4. Use reputable firewalls, anti virus and anti-malware software.
This goes for VPNs as well. The better established and most up-to-date the anti-malware, the better. Technology and its myriad convolutions are constantly evolving and so are the techniques of cyber criminals to get past them. It’s important for your anti-malware system to have been designed to counter the latest threats on the web.
5. Round-the-clock monitoring.
This is the best way to detect any incoming threats or suspicious user activity, especially in areas previously identified as vulnerable. Attacks and data breaches can happen at any time of day or night, so it’s vital to stay vigilant.
6. Conduct regular audits and cyber security assessments.
It’s best for professionals to handle this, as they will slip on the shoes of cyber criminals and attempt to attack your operating systems from all angles, prodding and testing each defence to scope out the weaknesses and suggest solutions.
7. Invest in cyber security insurance, but don’t rely on it.
Under 10% of UK businesses have cyber insurance. It goes without saying insurance is crucial when it is most needed, but don’t place all your faith in it without a solid cyber security system on the side.
Despite the abundance of cyber crime and the many millions it costs UK businesses each year (or perhaps because of it) cyber insurers may reject your claims for business disruption arising from cyberattacks. So, if you’re going to invest in cyber security, invest in software protection you can control and audit yourself.
8. And lastly, but certainly not least, beware of hardware theft.
Digital security from cyber risks only works if your physical equipment is kept under lock and key with effective password management and restricted admin rights.
While you cannot completely eradicate the chances of falling victim to a cyber attack of some kind, there are certainly many things you can do to guard yourself, your clients and your organisation to the best of your ability.
If you are still unsure what to do or have specific questions, please get in touch directly. One of our experts will be glad to help you out and suggest solutions.