We’ve all heard the horror stories of a major corporation’s systems being hacked – whether that’s from a sophisticated, organized crime syndicate or a teenager operating from a PC in his bedroom.
Cybercrime is hugely disruptive and can cost considerable time and money, so any steps you can take to prevent it happening to you – or at least minimize the risk – are well worth taking. Don’t skimp on paying for professional help or investing in tech as it’s all tax deductible expenses and will seem cheap at half the price if it saves you from disruption and maybe the loss.
Table of Contents
(Guide) Protecting Your Business Against Cyber Security Threats
Know your Enemy
Firstly, though, who and what are some of the threats?
- Programmers: skilled techies who write the code to infect a network
- Hackers: they break into a network using vulnerabilities (outdated software and less secure passwords for example)
- Social engineers: a more creative type of cyber criminal – they use trickery and scheming to inveigled people into giving up personal information or visiting websites that will download viruses or malware
These criminals are often after personal information such as your customer base’s credit card and bank details, birth dates, email and postal addresses and more.
Some of the steps are pretty rudimentary and, so long as they’re completed frequently, will go a long way to protecting you.
Keep Operating Systems & Software Updated
When updates are made to operating systems and software, they’re often to provide a patch to combat a recently discovered vulnerability, so it’s vital to install them as soon as possible.
If you don’t you could be at risk; it’s a simple step to take, but one overlooked or left too long by many.
Passwords & being ‘Cyber Threat’ Aware
Passwords are part and parcel of using computers, accessing accounts and certain websites so ensure yours are secure and changed frequently.
Review access permissions: don’t allow too many people – certainly any other than those necessary – to have password access to certain areas of your business network.
Use online resources to keep abreast of the types of cyber threat out there and the trends.
If the worst should happen, you’ll want to ensure very recent copies of your data is ready to be put back once your cyber threat has been dealt with.
The advent of easy to organize storage, such as that offered by the cloud, offers simple and affordable backup facilities (but you should also back up physically too, so you have more than one back up to turn to).
Train your Staff
Ensure those using your network are familiar with the cyber threats out there and know what precautions to take in preventing themselves – and by definition your business – from falling victim.
Social engineering (see above) is a particular favorite for cybercriminals to find a way into a large company’s network via lower level users, for example.
A professional security expert can help you determine whether your system is safe – or as safe as it can be.
It’s worth asking someone who comes highly recommended to check on a regular basis and recommend ways to keep the cyber threat at bay.
Don’t forget Mobiles
We perhaps tend to think of hacking and cybercrime as the preserve of computers, but your mobile devices are at risk with the widespread use of smartphones attracting cybercriminals.