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Cyber security tips for small businesses

According to a UK Government survey, over 31% of small businesses have been affected by cyber attacks in 2019. Although this has dropped from 42% in 2018, cyber attacks are still a problem. The consequences of an attack include loss or corruption of files, and restricted network access.

 

There isn’t one solution for solving cyber security issues, so we advise implementing a layered defense that includes both automating security software and employee training. Below, we explain the essential measures that small businesses can use to reduce the risk and impact of cyber threats.

4 cartoon images of laptop screens with virus error messages, on orange background

Keep your small business cyber safe

1. Use a firewall

Enabling a firewall will shield your network from intruders looking to exploit vulnerabilities. It helps monitor incoming and outgoing network traffic, and blocks any suspicious activity. Your IT team should be able to set up and manage firewalls easily or you can outsource this to an IT management company.

2. Password management software

Using different passwords for different online accounts and changing them regularly is recommended. While most people are aware of this, it isn’t always a high priority. This is where password management software can help. It will allow users to generate different secure passwords for each site they use and auto-populate them when logging in.

3. Employee training

More than 80% of data breaches are caused from employees unknowingly installing malware. Training on identifying cyber scams, including phishing emails is necessary for reducing the risk of a cyber attack.

4. Implement frameworks

Frameworks are a great way to implement structured security measures within your business to address security risks and put preventative actions in place. ISO27001 and Cyber Essentials are recommended examples of best practise frameworks for IT security, depending on your business size and industry.

5. Malware identification

Programs and plugins are widely available to automatically identify potential risks. For example, they scan email attachments for malware and viruses. This software will then remove or isolate the threat to save your network from an attack.

6. Permissions

One essential part of keeping your organisation secure is to only share files with trusted users, who have had the appropriate training. Knowing who has access to what and minimising who can perform administrator actions will reduce the possibility of a threat.

7. Encryption

Encrypted files have a special key that needs to be decoded for them to be read. Sensitive information such as passwords and customer data should be encrypted, this is especially important to prevent a GDPR breach. 

For more information on the best solution to keep your business safe from cyber threats, contact us today.

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