Cyber attacks are on the rise and so is the cost to business. The UK governments Information Security Breaches Survey 2015, released in June found that the cost of such attacks has risen rapidly over the past year alone. A severe cyber breach can cost an SME as much as £320,000, and with over 74% of SME’s reporting a security breach the need for cyber security has never been greater.
Investment in Cyber Training
‘The UK’s digital security is strong and growing, which is why British businesses remain an attractive target for cyber attacks and the cost is rising dramatically. Businesses that take this threat seriously are not only protecting themselves and their customers’ data but securing a competitive advantage,’ said Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey at the launching of the report.
To assist SMEs with cyber security the government launched a voucher scheme that provides up to £5000 worth of funding so that start-up and small/medium sized businesses can work with external experts to provide training for their staff. Experts like PGI Cyber are taking part in the scheme and with their assistance your company can earn the Cyber Essentials Accreditation. As well as improving your businesses cyber security the Essentials programme also shows that to potential customers and investors that your business takes the matter of cyber security seriously.
As well as investing in training for staff there are a number of other ways to help protect your business.
Firewalls and Passwords
One of the easiest and most effective ways of protecting your business from a cyber attack is to use firewalls and strong passwords. A firewall protects your network by controlling internet traffic going in and out the business. There are several major brands to choose from so seek the advice of experts before getting one. Strong passwords are vital as they are often the first things a hacker will attempt to crack in order to gain access to a network. By ensuring that staff use hard to crack passwords a hacker may give up on their access attempt. According to the experts at PGI Cyber, the best passwords use a combination of numbers, symbols, capital and lower-case letters and are 8 to 12 characters long.
Antivirus and anti-malware
Antivirus and anti-malware software is vital and probably the most essential part of your cyber security arsenal. Should a cyber-attack breach your defences, these programmes act as the last line defence.
Secure Portable Devices
Many businesses rely on the use of laptops and smartphones because of their portable nature. Because of this, however, laptops and smartphones are vulnerable to physical theft as well as threats from cyber space.
The best way to secure laptops is to encrypt them. By doing so it will change the way information appears on the hard drive so that without the correct password an intruder cannot read it. It’s also a good idea to not leave a laptop in a location that is an easy target for thieves, make sure you lock it away in a secure location.
Smartphones must also be encrypted and password protected. Another method of protecting a phone is to activate remote wiping. In the case of the phone being lost its data can be wiped from a remote location to ensure that no information is stolen.
Don’t become a target or victim of cybercrime. Seek the advice of the professionals such as those at PGI Cyber.