Good cyber security practices to keep your business safe
At a time when businesses are becoming ever more concerned about the risk of a cyber-attack, one of the questions every business owner needs to ask is, ‘How secure is my broadband?’ According to research by Symantec, 82% of business data that has been lost or stolen could have been prevented if business followed a simple internet security plan. So even if you don’t have an IT department, you can still install the right security and adopt safe practices to make sure your business, staff and customers are at not at risk.
Here we examine eight practical steps you can take to enhance your cyber security. These make good sense, whether your broadband service (FTTC/FTTP) is delivered via a shared line, or a bespoke high speed fibre optic leased line.
- Set up a firewall
Most people are aware that antivirus software helps protect their system against unwanted programmes. A firewall provides a barrier between your data and cybercriminals and helps to keep attackers or external threats from gaining access to your system. Your broadband connection is effectively open 24 hours a day, so there's plenty of opportunity for someone to hack inside and access your personal data if they want to. Installing a firewall makes this virtually impossible.
Also, with so many staff working from home nowadays, it’s important that they install a firewall on their home network as well. Companies may consider providing firewall software and support for home networks to ensure your data is safe and GDPR compliant.
- Educate your employees
When was the last time your staff members were trained on the company’s network cyber security best practices and security policies? Cybercriminals are becoming ever savvier, so it’s essential to have regular updates on new protocols. With regular training you can minimise the risk and ensure staff are aware of new threats and scams.
- Adopt safe password practices
Changing passwords may be a pain but most data breaches are due to lost, stolen or weak passwords. Your employees should be required to use passwords with upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols and all passwords should be changed every 60 to 90 days. Ensure these are saved in an encrypted software and not on a post-it in the top drawer!
- Establish a BYOD policy for employees
Increasing numbers of employees are working from home or bringing personal devices into the workplace, so there should be clear guidelines around their usage. This means setting minimum security software requirements, with all software up to date and strong password protection for devices.
- Data and device encryption
Where possible, make sure that all data that is stored or on the move (think emails) is fully encrypted. This makes any data stored on machine useless to criminals and keeps your information secret.
- Regular data backup
It may seem patently obvious but you would be surprised how many businesses don’t carry out this simple procedure. So make sure you keep a copy of your business data at a secure off-site location in case the original is lost. Remember to replace hardware back ups as even an external hard drive has a lifespan of around 3-5 years.
- Train staff to spot threats
Prevention is better than cure, so informing your staff members about why security matters and training them in ways they can help will reduce the risk of a security breach and improve the response times should one occur. As a fast response is so vital, ensure staff are confident to notify a breach quickly without fear of personal repercussions.
- Install anti-malware software
People make mistakes. Around 90% of data breaches start with phishing attacks on organisations, where someone clicked on an inappropriate link. These are getting more and more sophisticated so harder to spot to the untrained or overworked. This means it is essential to have anti-malware software installed on all devices and the network.
This list isn’t definitive but it marks the start of a process that will massively enhance your internal security levels and minimise the risk posed by outside threats. If you would like to review more good cyber security practices to keep your business safe, call the High Performance Networks team today on 028 9053 8411. We’ll help you implement safe connectivity measures that are good for your business.