17 Jun Defending Your SMB from Modern Cyber Threats
In the previous article we explored just how important cyber security is, and decided that the modern age of tech demands that it takes pride of place at the top of your business concerns. We learnt some of the various methods used by cyber criminals to gain access to our systems and our sensitive data. It is imperative that we are prepared.
You need to know at least some of the cyber security fundamentals that can both equip and prepare your team for a potentially business-defining cyber attack.
The Cyber Security Fundamentals
Good data backup
The best defences in the world can’t stop an attack from taking place and being successful, as unfortunate as this fact is. That is why data backup is essential – of course, don’t ignore your security options – just because it can’t be perfect it doesn’t mean that you can’t make it very good. It is essential that you have a strategy in place which ensures the safety of both your IT systems and essential data – or, at minimum, to the best level of safety possible. Without your data your business will cease to exist – if it is stolen or deleted then it will likely mean the end for your company.
The goal of data backup is to ensure that you can operate to a capacity which is, at minimum, similar to the standards at which you and your team are accustomed. An effective data backup will allow you to keep promises to clients and continue operations regardless of the circumstances.
Passwords – we all use them. It is normal practice to use passwords, so we should all know good password practice by now, i.e., you don’t use common number or letter sequences or words or phrases that mean something to you. The best passwords are completely random – the letters, numbers, and other characters aren’t ordered in a certain way or have any significance to you, making them practically impenetrable to outsiders. Make them difficult but don’t forget that you need to remember them too.
Following this strict set of rules when making your passwords will allow you to be sure that you and your team are doing all that is possible to make your systems secure.
- Use multi-factor authentication where it is available.
- If it is too easy to remember then don’t use it. Avoid easily recalled sequential passwords, recurring numbers or words (such as 1234, 6789, Dog name, Cat name, etc).
- If possible, make sure your password is over ten characters long and contains a combination of letters, numbers and even special characters – when it comes to passwords the longer the better!
- Use upper and lowercase letters.
- Periodically change your password; sometimes accounts are hacked unbeknownst to the account holder.
- Passwords are arguably the most important of all cyber security measures that you can implement. It is understandable – however unfortunate – that most think about the ease of their own experience rather than the security of the system, but doing this leads them to make their passwords easy to remember and input as opposed to being as secure as possible. Your data must be safeguarded, regardless of how tedious inputting passwords can be.
Anti-Malware software must be downloaded on your laptops and computers at all times – all of which must be updated to the latest version. This applies to your home devices as well, not just those at your workplace. The majority of vendors offer a free version of Anti-Malware software, but, unfortunately, as is always the case, when something is free there is normally a reason for that: in this case, they are simply not good enough to live up to the task, when even the simplest of modern-day cyber attacks would find little difficulty in penetrating them. You must replace the free version with one that is capable, immediately.
Cyber criminals aim to steal data – we all know this! But, before that, a lot of attacks require them to encrypt it first. So, you need to beat them to the punch – this can sound confusing so just stick with us – because you need to hold the keys to your kingdom – it is essential.
Data encryption works by scrambling the readable text of your files and documents so they can only be read by the person who holds the ‘keys’. You must get there first; doing this will make you the gatekeeper with full control over who enters.
Education is the most important of all security measures. Cyber attacks usually target the uneducated; it is invariably a combination of this and a level of ignorance to the consequences of a successful cyber attack on the business that can lead to disaster. Your team need to know the threats they are facing, be vigilant to those threats at all times, and know how to use the various tools and knowledge you provide them with in the most beneficial way.
Cyber security is essential – your team must know their role in defending your systems. You must then do your part and provide them with tools capable of standing up to the attacks.
At Netcom we are well-versed in helping companies in various sectors to navigate the often mystifying, jargon-filled world of IT. With over 15 years’ experience covering virtually all aspects of business IT, we can help guide your business to a prosperous future with the right IT at your side every step of the way. We can help you deploy cutting edge solutions that will not only help you weather the storm that is modern IT but also keep your business at the top of its game post pandemic and beyond. Why not book a free, no obligation discovery call today by ringing 0114 361 0062.