October is Cyber security awareness month – a very important event for the IT security industry. This initiative originated in the US, but it’s now recognised by many countries around the world, especially in Europe.
The idea of a month dedicated to cyber security marks the perfect opportunity for leaders in the IT space to talk about common threats and gaps in security for businesses, and to help them to step up with the latest solutions.
Hackers and malicious attackers take no rest, and the threats of cyber-attacks have only increased over the recent years.
According to the latest figures from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), 37% of companies reported a data breach incident between 2019 and 2020. Other reports have shown that, every day, around 65,000 attempts to SMEs and SMBs occur in the UK every day, and around 4,500 of them are successful.
This year saw the entire globe switching to remote working, with many organisations unprepared for the challenges. Personal computers typically lack the security levels that organisations require as standard, which has left employees and companies vulnerable to malicious attacks.
So, we are taking the chance during #CyberSecMonth 2020 to remind companies that it is vital to stay vigilant, and to highlight top tips for protecting your business from common cyber threats.
Set up & review security policies
Establishing IT security policies is essential for all companies, big or small. Having security policies in place can ensure that your networks are strong and stay protected against threats.
One of the most important factors in security protocols is handling sensitive data. Do your employees know how to protect sensitive data or personally identifiable information? If this isn’t clear, then there is an important gap to take care of. Data protection must be a top priority for every business.
As part of security policies, businesses should also have provisions for using IT disaster recovery services in case of any incidents.
Perform IT Security Audits
Full security assessments and strategic analysis go a long way for businesses to find gaps and potential issues in security. Once the risks are identified, it’s much easier to establish next steps for protecting the organisation, including employees and infrastructure.
Recent figures from the UK government showed that only 35% of businesses in the UK have performed a cyber risk assessment. Considering that 46% of businesses had reported cyber attacks or breaches in the 12 months prior to the survey, the number of risk assessments and audits should be much higher.
During cyber security audits, IT specialists usually take a deep look at the current system setup for a business, to identify weaknesses and detect potential risks.
Then, an IT audit of internal processes should follow, including a thorough look at password management and firewall security.
Update your IT systems and software regularly
System updates are one of those things that often get on the list of ‘to do things’, and that are constantly being postponed. There is always time for that later, right? Wrong.
Updating IT systems and software is really important and it’s a task that should be prioritised. Cyber attacks are constantly evolving and getting more sophisticated, and hackers are always looking for new ways to
invade your IT systems.
So, it’s crucial that business owners stay on top of the risks. Computer software and systems are constantly making updates available to make their applications stronger.
Keep up with the updates if you are serious about staying away from bugs and gaps, as you should be!
Provide training for employees
Training your team to be aware of cyber security and potential risks helps a great deal in protecting your company and resources.
Things like knowing how to identify phishing emails or keeping mailboxes secure may seem basic steps, but the truth is not everyone has the knowledge or understands some of the most basic security measures.
Cyber criminals rely on human error to access IT systems and cause harm. In many instances, companies don’t train workers properly against potential threats. When employees aren’t vigilant, can leave systems vulnerable
Sufficient training for your team should cover the basic on how to establish and keep their passwords secure and protected, and instruct them about the risks of clicking on suspicious links or phishing emails.
Businesses that make the effort in promoting cyber security awareness amongst their employees are better prepared, by encouraging best practice and an IT security culture where teams know how to spot suspicious activity.
Get an Incident Response Plan in place
As mentioned previously, businesses should have provisions for disaster recovery in place, to make use of when incidents happen.
This can be particularly important for small businesses. An incident response strategy should outline what a company needs to do in the event of an attack. Employees should be aware of how to act and what steps to follow if things go wrong.
IT teams must be responsible for conducting tests that show the response to various cyber-attacks – and include IT disaster recovery services as a core part of the plan.
Ready to step up your IT Security?
At Euro Systems, we are committed to protecting our customers from the ever-evolving threats and the increasing risks in cyber security.
We always work closely with customers to find the best solutions suited for their needs and budget. We partner with the best in the cyber security space, and we can make sure to implement security measures that fit your exact business model, to truly protect your organisation.
Get in touch for a free consultation, our team will be happy to take through our IT security services.