With recent reports stating that cybercrime is now the most common offence in the UK, Cyber Security has never been more important, especially for Businesses. With cyber-attacks on the rise, all companies must take the necessary steps to protect any databases they maintain but most importantly the personal data of their customers and Employees.
We’ve put together a list of 7 steps you can take to help make your business less vulnerable to cyber criminals.
While you may have heard it a thousand times, it is still always the best place to start. Having a strong password and a strong password policy could really save you from an attack. Using a strong password is the easiest and cheapest way to give your cyber security a boost and using 8 characters or more, with a variety of upper- and lower-case characters and symbols can go a long way.
It’s also important to keep your passwords varied. Using the same password for multiple accounts could be massively damaging if one of your accounts were to be hacked it would leave all of your accounts vulnerable.
Purchase anti-virus software
If your computer catches a virus, it’s not as visually catastrophic as you may think, your system won’t immediately begin crashing and then fade to a black screen. The reason it’s so important to invest in software to protect your system from viruses and spyware is because there are a lot of tasks being carried out in the background and that’s where the anti-virus software comes in.
A good anti-virus software will keep your system safe from the threats on both the front end and in the background, while also notifying you of potentially harmful websites and links.
Following on from the previous tip, in order to keep all of your operating systems, software and applications at their strongest, it’s important to keep them up-to-date. Cyber criminals are always looking for new ways to exploit your system, but at the same time, the developers of your system are constantly improving their security through updates and patches.
Ensuring that every system in your company is kept up-to-date on a regular basis could potentially save you from the latest method of attack.
Check all links
One of the most common methods cyber criminals use to access personal data is phishing. You may receive email messages that appear to be from trusted sources or well-known brands that ask for your information or require you to click a link to confirm some of your details, however, by clicking the link you could be directed to an unsafe web location and your data could be vulnerable to an attack.
An easy way to check most links is by hovering your mouse over the link itself and it should show the exact address you will be taken to. Some email addresses may appear legitimate, however, it may just be displaying a fake contact name such as ‘Windows Support’ that if clicked would reveal a ‘011010.net’ email address.
If you’re suspicious, take an extra second to check that the link is secure before clicking through to a dangerous website.
Be careful when logging in while you’re out
In today’s world, there are plenty of us working while on the go, but it is vital that you remain extra vigilant when away from the office. Finding and connecting to free Wi-Fi when you’re out and about can be a lifesaver, however, free and public Wi-Fi can also be vulnerable to online criminals if the network is not protected properly.
If you can avoid using public Wi-Fi, then it’s best to keep your companies’ data safe by not accessing the network at all. However, if you have to access the network, try using a ‘private browsing’ session so that your credentials won’t be stored locally.
Always log out
This rule applies at all times, but even more so when outside of the office. If you’re logged in to an account with sensitive information such as financial or personal data, ensure that you log out before closing your browser.
If another user were to use the same system after you close the browser, there is a good chance you will still be logged in to any accounts you have accessed during your previous session. It may seem tedious to go through all of your accounts and make sure you’re fully logged out, but it could save you in the long run.
Invest In Cyber Cover
Finally, to make sure your business is fully covered against the threat of cybercrime, take a look at the details of your current Business Insurance policy. Your current cover may not include Cyber Insurance as standard, leaving your business vulnerable if the worst were to happen.