Top tips for improving your business cyber security

The faster technology changes, the faster users and businesses need to update their cyber security. This key issue has been further affected by the Covid 19 pandemic, in which remote working has become a standard for employees in many organisations, with integration and flexibility among cyber security hot topics for home workers…

Remote working brings new threats

Cyber threats often appear in tandem with innovative working practices. People have always worked from home, but not in the numbers seen during the Coronavirus pandemic, and not using systems traditionally reserved for the workplace, such as call centres.  Threats take many forms, including malware, toll fraud, and network targeting, as cyber criminals search for protection gaps. In addition to disruption and potential business losses, most organisations are also concerned about their legal compliance with GDPR legislation, other regulations, and government requirements.

Multi-Factor Authentication

MFA or multi-factor authentication has always been considered an additional layer of security, but nowadays it is becoming much more of a norm.  More often, this two-stage process is already commonplace for many people when they access their online banking or social media accounts. MFA is now a must for any business – using two or more simple verification steps to gain online access. This is typically a text with a code on a mobile phone after the username and password are entered. MFA is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect any business or organisation. 

Managing security updates

Make no mistake, hackers and cybercriminals can easily keep pace with key decision-makers in new security software to ensure that applications are regularly updated, and patches are implemented when needed.  The best way to do this is to thoroughly monitor and evaluate risks to protect data, thereby generating revenue and reputation.  Old apps are risky and dangerous, and easy to overlook on outdated servers and workstations. The current trend for remote working means system audits depend on all devices and staff connected to the office network. 

Dark Web audits

Most people are becoming increasingly familiar with the dark web, which refers to the subterranean world of the Internet, full of illicit materials including usernames and passwords, credit card information, and medical data, all available to cybercriminals.

A recent dark web survey revealed over 15 billion stolen logins from more than 100,000 security breaches.  For a dark web audit, specialist knowledge and access are usually required.  This can be a valuable process, as it allows companies and organisations to find out which key information is available for sale and where that data comes from.  The emphasis on vulnerable information enables internal changes and increased security measures.

Anti-malware

The most effective and comprehensive option to protect against malware threats is to use a cloud-based solution that is centralised and protects all devices.  When purchasing malware protection, it is important to focus on key features, including: anti-ransomware, global blacklisting, on-access scanning, endpoint software firewall control, endpoint drive encryption management, external device controls, auto-update of the device itself and pattern files.

Protocols and best practices

The best way to protect yourself from cybercrime is to write a policy that covers new and existing devices with regular maintenance, updates, reviews, and stress tests.  Establishing a comprehensive system of protection does not have to be costly or difficult and gives businesses peace of mind.

Use protocols and checklists for new devices and updates.  Undergo evaluation reviews to test that the security is working and fit for purpose. Always use a key business change or major technological developments or upgrades as a trigger to review procedures.

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