Small businesses can face many different challenges, one of which is protecting the business against cyber attacks. Cyber crime has become more and more common as we continue to live and breathe technology. With small businesses doing everything they can to innovate, transform and grow, they can be at risk of security breaches.
A UK government survey revealed that more than 43% of businesses experienced a cyber security attack in 2018. An alternative survey, conducted by YouGov, went on to show that only 27% of businesses have a formal cyber security policy.
However, having a policy in place is only the start in protecting your network from cyber crime. As a small business, it’s important that you take the necessary steps to improve your cyber security. In this guide, we’ll discuss some of the best ways to protect your business from cyber attacks, including:
- Training staff
- Keeping devices updated
- Using a VPN
- Securing the WiFi
While most cyber attacks are the work of someone outside your organisation, many breaches can also happen due to human error within your business. For instance, phishing scams and inadvertently downloading malware can create huge problems for a business.
It is important that you train new staff on corporate security policies, as well as updating existing staff, to make sure everyone is up to speed on a range of cyber security problems. By downloading a dodgy attachment in an email, you are essentially providing an entry point for the attacker.
To protect your business from cyber crime, you should talk to employees about removable media. Removable media includes the likes of USBs or the direct connection of a smartphone through a USB port on the device. Malware can also be transferred this way.
Keeping devices updated
A big cyber security risk for many businesses is having outdated technology. This was the case with a ransomware attack in 2018 that affected the NHS. Businesses should ensure devices are all updated, including desktop computers, laptops and mobile devices.
Even printers and scanners should have updated firmware. By neglecting basic updates, you can create cracks that are easily exploited by hackers.
Using a VPN
Remote workforces can create a cyber security threat, where staff are using their own smartphone or laptop to access the work server from remote locations. You could consider installing a VPN (virtual private network) which can enhance the security of a network.
VPNs help to create an encrypted connection over the internet, which can be helpful if your staff often use public WiFi. In this way, a VPN can protect computer data when your staff are online in locations such as a coffee shop or airport.
Securing the WiFi
The WiFi connection in your office needs to be secure, otherwise it creates an easy route for a cyber crime to take place. You should ensure your WiFi is secure so that only employees can access it, and implementing a separate network for guest WiFi access.
If you have devices that can access the network via WiFi, they should also be secured. The likes of building control systems and networked security cameras are highly targeted devices and should be secured effectively.
While these may sound like obvious and simple tasks, it is important to implement them as early as possible in order to protect your business from cyber crime in 2019 and beyond.
Posted on November 14, 2019 | running a business, security, cyber crime, hacking, growing a business