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5 Tips To Improve Your Business’s Cyber Security 

5 Tips To Improve Your Business's Cyber Security

5 Tips To Improve Your Business's Cyber Security Workplace Connect

We understand how important your data is for your small business; and know maintaining a trustworthy reputation, is vital to continued success and progression. Therefore, we want to share with you 5 tips regarding small business cyber security solutions; to ensure your business remains secure, and you can focus on the key demands of your workplace rather than defending them. Looking after your cyber security or outsourcing your support, should be a priority. It was reported in 2021 that 43% of cyberattacks target small businesses like yours. However there is a silver lining, 95% of cybersecurity breaches are made possible by human errors. Therefore, you can control these threats and minimise them using the tips we are about to provide!

  

1) Keep a Strong Backup System 

The first tip for improving your cyber security is maintaining or building a strong and resistant backup system. Because this means, you are less likely to lose data permanently if you are unfortunately experiencing a breach. To make sure no data is lost, it is recommended to back up your systems as often as possible. Therefore this means aiming to back up each day, week, month and definitely year. In addition to this, it is recommended to save all backups in different locations. Because this provides your small business better protection against losing all data and increases the chances of recovering quickly because it is stored somewhere else; it is worth noting that one small business in the UK is successfully hacked every 19 seconds therefore strong backup systems are worth investing in!

Another way to improve your cyber security, is to ensure you have and continue to keep the systems updated with the latest security patches. This will prevent you from having ongoing weak spots which could have easily been avoided; you should incorporate this into your security strategy. In addition to this, it is worthwhile ensuring only the right people who need to access the back-up within the business have access to guarantee you don’t have problems with employees who have ill intentions. 

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The devices you chose to add your backups to must also be protected. One of the best ways of doing is this, is by using a physical product (such as a portable hard drive) This is because if it is stored correctly and securely you have a much lower risk of people obtaining the data; through hacking or losing the data if a device gets corrupted or damaged for any reason. Another way to make sure the backup is secure, is to add an encryption service to the device that contains your backup; this means unless someone knows the password, the data will come back as code. Therefore, they don’t receive full access to what you are storing; thus, improving your cyber security.

  

2) Software and Patch Updates 

This may seem like a simple measure to put in place for improving your small business’s cyber security. However many businesses forget about this or would rather leave it to a later date; however, the fact is the provider you are using has found weaknesses or bugs with their service. Therefore, you should make it mandatory to complete the update as soon as it becomes available. It is very important to install these updates as soon as they come out because it was reported very recently that among the businesses that had identified attacks and breaches, around a quarter would experience them at least once a week. This could have been prevented if they had the proper systems and latest software/patches in place.

Completing these updates improves your malware protection which means that you are: 

  • Protected from viruses 
  • Less likely to be harmed from intentionally disruptive software 
  • Have someone unauthorized gain access to sensitive information  

The updates can fix security flaws which are vital to remaining secure otherwise hackers could write a piece of code to take advantage of the weakness and exploit this. Another benefit is that your data will be protected, therefore hackers will struggle to obtain your personal details and use this against you.

One way to guarantee you don’t forget to update your devices is to go to your settings and allow the device to automatically update itself because this will take the pressure off you and means it will always have the latest updates which will keep your data secure. You could also set reminders and timers on your phones to let you know you need to take some time out to allow the updates to install and so you won’t lose any work on the progress.

  

3) Limit User Access 

Another great way to improve your cyber security is by limiting the number of stakeholders who have access to the data. You should decide who can view your data by considering who needs to see it for their work; this means you should consider which buildings/offices need to see it, what systems should have the right to hold it and what employees you would want to provide access to.

Once you have decided who and what devices are allowed access to the data. They then should be briefed about why it is so important for them to keep this information confidential and that they should only access the data when it is required; it should be made aware that they shouldn’t be accessing the data when there is no need for it. Furthermore, the people who have access to the data should ensure they have set up strong protection barriers to see the data; for example, it would be worthwhile adding multi-factor authentication (this means setting up a series of passwords or security codes to be sent to their devices to allow them access) because this will prevent individuals from hacking you and obtaining it.

The National Cyber Security Centre recommends you create a password which is a combination of three words that don’t associate with anything personal because this is hard for hackers to break through.

Finally, another measure you can put in place for your business cyber security is a system where ex-employees are immediately removed from the system once they leave because it means they have less chance of obtaining your data and either selling it or using it against you; this is another method we would recommend adding to your security strategy.

  

4) Mandatory Strong Password Policies 

As recommended by the National Cyber Security Centre, you need to set passwords which ideally are three random words put together. Because this prevents the hacker from gaining access by using words or phrases which are personal to you; furthermore, you should add multi-factor authentication to all employees’ log-ins. It was recently reported that 22% of all breaches were caused by human error throughout 2021; such as employees setting weak passwords therefore this policy is worth implementing.

Multi-factor authentication means using multiple methods to sign in. A common way of implementing this, is once you have signed in using your password a code will be sent to your email or phone to sign in with also. It is good practice to not save the passwords anywhere which can be easily found. For example in your phone or just saved on the device itself because if your phone/PC was to get stolen they could obtain all the information with no resistance. If you would like your small business to have a third preventative measure, put in place you could consider adding a lockout. This means that a user is given an X number of attempts to sign in before they are locked out; it is recommended to pick between 5 – 10 tries before a user is locked out.

For cyber security reasons your password should not include: 

  • Your name 
  • Your birthday 
  • A pets name 
  • Family names 
  • Personal address 
  • Your birthplace 

However, your password should include: 

  • Random words made into a phrase 
  • Mix of uppercase and lower-case letters 
  • Numbers 
  • Special characters 

  

5) Mobile Device Policy 

Our final tip to improve your small business’s cyber security, is to enforce a mobile device policy within the workplace. To protect the confidential information and data employees access. We suggest adding this policy because many people use their phones to access information from work (such as emails, and save the details on their phones to save time when having to look at them again.

Potential threats you could face from mobile devices include: 

  • Downloading intentionally vicious apps 
  • Unsecured Wi-Fi networks 
  • Phishing scams 
  • Data leaked 

All of these could pose a threat to having your data stolen. And your business sadly receiving a poor reputation for poor handling of confidential information.

Therefore, you can handle this, by ensuring they have set up passwords on the devices themselves. Now some devices allow you to add passwords to access your emails which should be implemented when possible. Another way to minimise the risk of an attack, is to ask your employees to install security apps and encrypt data; because this creates another layer of protection between your small business and a cyber-attack. Therefore, if their device was to get stolen or hacked then you know there are multiple layers of strong protection. 

If you would like further advice regarding small business cyber security solutions, then please don’t hesitate to call us. 

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