If your business has a bricks and mortar premises, then you will no doubt have a solid security network in place to ensure that your belongings are kept safe. While it’s vital to protect your physical assets, it’s equally important to make sure that your data and intellectual property is not vulnerable to theft.
As well as securing your own assets, under the Data Protection Act 2018, your business also has a duty to keep data relating to your clients and suppliers under lock and key. Instances of cybercrime soared during the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning that it’s now more important than ever for UK businesses to prioritise their cybersecurity.
Read on to find out our top tips for keeping your business data away from prying eyes.
Back Up Your Data
This one should be fairly obvious but, you’d be surprised how many businesses become complacent about backing up their data. Cloud backup systems can provide an essential layer of security for your business, and they are usually very affordable. The best practices for backups are to do these every 24 hours but, even if this is only done every few days, it will still increase your protection greatly.
What To Do To Secure Data In The Cloud Against Disaster?The most common misconception that cloud customers come across is that their data is secured and disaster-free. Many cloud service providers significantly claim that they offer a risk-free service, but that cannot be guaranteed with conviction. Several business pioneers think that the cloud is
Use Multi-Factor Authentication
It’s hard to believe but, in 2022, some business systems and networks can be accessed with just a simple password. Unfortunately, this offers little more than an illusion of security as any cybercriminal worth their salt will find their way round this. Instead, companies should be using multi-factor authentication (MFA) as standard across all of their systems to optimise security.
This involves requiring employees and customers to enter two or more methods of verification to gain access. For example, a password and a pin number or, a password and a fingerprint. This is usually fairly easy to set up and can make a huge difference when working to keep hackers at bay.
Image Source: Bru-nO from Pixabay
When it comes to your business security, patches can be your new best friend. And no, we’re not talking about the ones you sew onto your jeans.
“Patches” is the term given to important software changes which are responsible for updating, improving and fixing the functionality of your software. Patches are used to identify and fix bugs alongside other vulnerabilities as well as supersizing performance and the user experience.
Managing your patches is essential for your data security and should be rolled out to all systems and networks, including those used for remote work. Deploying patch management removes the need for employees to physically check for patches which can be frustrating and time consuming. Particularly as new vulnerabilities can appear on an almost daily basis.
If your IT management is outsourced, it’s a good idea to check with your provider regarding their patches best practices. If your IT is in-house, patch management should be introduced in order to protect all items of software, even those which are used extremely infrequently.
Install A Firewall
A firewall is to your cybersecurity what your door entry system is to your physical business; a barrier which prevents unwelcome access. Firewalls essentially block incoming and outgoing traffic to your systems via activities such as emails. While there are some basic firewalls which offer only packet filtering, these are not always enough. For optimal security, businesses should be using Next Generation Firewalls (NGFWs) which provide more comprehensive protection for application-level inspection.
Encrypt Your Data
If your business handles data which is particularly sensitive, you may want to consider encryption for extra security. Encryption uses algorithms to convert data into complex codes and this makes it incredibly difficult for hackers infiltrate your systems.
There are three main types of encryption for business and, these are:
- Individual file encryption: This type of encryption protects specific files and folders and is a fairly basic format.
- Volume encryption: This type of encryption protects groups of files, folders and data which are contained within a ‘container’ of data.
- Full disc encryption: The most comprehensive type of encryption, this format protects all files, folders and volumes through encryption.
Businesses which handle sensitive or large amounts of data should always opt for full disc encryption to ensure adherence to GDPR and other data laws.
Companies can get on board with encryption through third party encryption services and programs.
Set Up Cybersecurity Training
Image Source: Christina Morillo from Pexels
When it comes to securing your business, you can invest in as much kit as you like but, if you don’t educate your employees, this may be money down the drain. The key to cybersecurity for any business is to train staff in the importance of this and to give them the responsibility of maintaining it. Training courses and workshops are a great investment for companies who take their cybersecurity seriously in 2022.
Use A VPN
With more and more people working remotely for at least part of the week, WIFI and internet access are an increasing problem for businesses. With remote and hybrid working, employees may be accessing business systems from a number of different places, for example, home, the office, coffee shops and on transport. While this is super convenient, it can leave your systems vulnerable to hackers.
Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a fast, affordable and effective way of keeping your networks safe, even when your workforce is out and about.
Putting in place systems and best practices will significantly decrease the risk of cybercrime for your business but, with the best will in the world, no security system is 100% foolproof. For this reason, you should always have an incident response plan in place. Then, educate all employees to ensure that, should an attack occur, you’re able to start recovery as soon as possible, thereby minimising damage and downtime.
The Basics Of A Good Business Continuity PlanIn the light of recent events, it should come as no surprise that business continuity planning (BCP) is spreading throughout industries like wildlife. Those that had a BCP were not hit as badly by the pandemic. Those that didn’t have a BCP, are barely
Keep up to Date
The modern world moves at lightning speed and, with every advance in technology, cybercriminals find new ways of getting their hands on your data. Make a point of keeping up to date with cybersecurity news and updates through magazines, blogs and more to ensure that you always know what to look out for.
Prevention is always better than cure and, so, getting a head start on what’s round the corner for cybercrime and cybersecurity will stand you in good stead.
Ready to Protect Your Business?
If your business is established and has been running for some time, it’s easy to assume that the security systems that you have in place are adequate. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case, as in in 2021, there were 60,111 reports of business cybercrime and, these were by no means limited to small or new businesses.
Cybercrime incidents due to inadequate security not only cost your business time and money but they can also harm your reputation and affect your insurance premiums. As well as even landing you in hot water with the law if data standards such as GDPR are breached. While some instances of cybercrime may be considered a minor inconvenience, others can be devastating to businesses.
This is why putting cybersecurity standards in place for every corner of your business can, quite literally, mean the difference between survival and insolvency. And, as such, a considerable investment of time, money and training is required to make sure that your data and other information is locked up tighter than Fort Knox.