Recent Studies show that at least 80% of UK small businesses have no security plan to deal with a hack attempt or cyber attack. With an increasing reliance on the internet for business operation, many business owners are ignorant of the chaos that can be caused should they be targeted. The age old “it won’t happen to me syndrome”.
Take a moment and think about your own company. What would your first steps be should your critical servers suddenly get locked out by a crypto virus or your company website be taken down by hackers? Do you have a plan? Do you have a capable IT team who can implement it? Are you just hoping for the best? Do you know that many a significant percent of small businesses targeted never fully recover?
Here is how you can stop being a potential victim.
The best approach is to make life much harder for the would be criminals. Even the largest companies will suffer attacks so your best approach is to weigh up how much is enough when it comes to preventing an attack. Look strong and they will tend to go for the weaker target. Try the tips below;
ENCRYPTION OF DATA
Everyone has heard of encryption but do you actually enforce this on your employees? Do you know how? Thankfully Microsoft, Apple and others have made our lives easier in the last few years with technologies such as Bitlocker (Windows) and FileVault (Apple). These technologies which will render your data inaccessible to thieves even if they get their hands on the device. They will encrypt everything on the device and should the worst happen and a laptop is stolen, you should be relatively safe. No more will the theif be able to plug the hard drive into a dock and access the contents.
This does not account for virus and malware attacks that may occur whilst the machine is logged in and being used. If someone forgets to log out and the laptop is taken you may be in trouble.
There are ways to fight against this such as setting up policies to log out machines after a certain amount of time. If this approach is not suitable then at least encourage staff to lock the screen when they leave the machine and log out completely when they take the device home. Some companies have introduced a fun element by playing pranks on computers if they have been left logged in and unattended. After having your desktop icons hidden or your start bar flipped to the side of the screen a few times you tend to think about securing your machine before your next lunch break.
WIFI & NETWORK SECURITY
Is your Wifi network locked down and secured with a password or certificate to prevent anyone accessing it?
A home user can implement simple steps such as hiding the SSID (broadcast name of the wireless network) from appearing when you casually scan for Wifi signals. A dedicated attacker will get past this in seconds. A business may also prefer to keep their Wifi visible, especially if they have BYOD or guest networks available.
As with most security, a strong password consisting of numbers, special characters and upper and lower case letters is essential. For business users, implementing some form of RADIUS is the wiser route. This would mean a certificate is issued to devices via the company server and policies set up to connect up securely without having to manually type in passwords.
For more advice on RADIUS and securing your network, get in touch with computer security experts who can help you secure your precious data.
ANTIVIRUS & MALWARE SOFTWARE
You may be surprised to learn that many small businesses have no antivirus installed on business critical machines. Further still, those that do have some centralised antivirus system rarely check if their devices are infected.
Malware is now arguably more dangerous than the traditional virus as it tends to be installed with legitimate applications. It can sometimes be a minefield trying to install something as simple as Adobe Flash without being forced to untick or tick multiple boxes to avoid having multiple unwanted applications sideloaded onto your computer.
We suggest you adopt a corporate strategy for installation of Antivirus and AntiMalware software on all computers. You can prevent users from installing anything on company devices by using server policies. If you have a centralised antivirus solution, it is essential that you regularly check logs and make sure updates are applied to all devices. If you do not have the skills or time to do this then think about working with a support company who can come in and do this for you.
PARTNER WITH A TRUSTWORTHY IT SUPPORT COMPANY
If you find this all a little overwhelming you are not alone. Many smaller businesses just do not have the resources to create and maintain a strategy to encompass all of the above. Even if they do, things change rapidly in the technology world and what was safe and secure yesterday is now completely open to attack.
have a track record of working with and successfully securing business systems. Better yet, we manage and maintain these systems for many clients, ensuring future threats are kept at bay and risk is always minimal.
Get in touch with us to discuss how we could help you prevent a cyber attack and secure your business critical systems today without spending the earth – 0800 086 8872.
Get started by with a free security audit by one of our Microsoft Certified Engineers. This will consist of:
- A short meeting to discuss your current IT setup.
- A senior engineer visit to assess your security and IT requirements.
- Feedback via a written report followed up with a call to discuss issues raised.