How can you better protect your IT systems & tech? With cyber-attacks on the rise for small businesses it’s not the time to take your eye off the ball when it comes to keeping your IT systems safe. According to research by Hiscox, more than half of businesses (53%) were the victims of cybercrime in the past year, an increase from 48% in the previous year.
These attacks can range from the simple phishing email, where the user is tricked into providing login or other personal details, to more complex viruses, malware or ransomware. At the same time that cyber-criminals are increasing the number of attacks, this means small businesses have to increase their security measures in order to protect their systems.
Simple ways to protect your IT:
Here are ten simple but effective ways to improve your cybersecurity and remain one step ahead of the hackers and scammers.
Security Software – One of the easiest ways to protect your IT systems is to ensure you have up-to-date antivirus and anti-malware software as well as installing a robust firewall to prevent unauthorised traffic onto your network.
Software Updates – Ensuring all of your software is regularly updated can prevent hackers from exploiting vulnerabilities within the software and operating systems. These can be set up by your IT support provider to update automatically weekly or monthly ensuring you are running the latest versions.
Strong Passwords and Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) – Creating strong passwords, with a mixture of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols can make it more difficult for cybercriminals to access systems. For even more security add MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication) which requires a password and a fingerprint, randomly generated code or pin sent via SMS.
Principal of Least Privilege – Should a cyber-criminal gain access to a user’s computer system they will potentially have access to everything the user does. By employing the principal of least privilege it ensures users only have access to the bare minimum required to do their job. This therefore limits the damage a hacker can do once inside the machine.
Employee Training – Often the weakest link in IT security is the users and therefore it is essential they receive adequate training to educate them about potential risks from phishing attacks for example, as well as how to spot them, and how to deal with them.
Network Security Measures – In addition to security software it is also recommended to ensure emails and messages are encrypted meaning they can’t be intercepted. The importance of using only secure Wi-Fi networks should also be made clear to all staff.
Configurations – Most software and hardware is helpfully provided with default settings and login details. These will be the same for every user globally, and therefore should be reconfigured before they are used. This means changing all the default passwords and logins as well as customising security settings to the level required for your business needs.
Data Backups – Regular back-ups of all your systems should be made and ideally stored in an off-site unit or data centre. This means should the worst happen and you lose access to your systems, you will have a copy which is up-to-date which can be reinstalled reducing the amount of lost data.
Regular Security Audits – Cyber-crime is constantly evolving which means cyber security needs to be constantly evolving too. Therefore cyber security is not a one-and-done activity and needs to be revisited annually to ensure your systems remain protected.
Incident Response Plan – Even with robust security it is possible to be the victim of cyber-crime, but to limit the impact of the event an Incident Response Plan should be prepared. This plan will outline all the steps to take should a security breach occur, allowing for prompt and effective responses minimising damage to your business.
These ten steps to safer IT can be implemented straight away, offering you increased protection against cyber-criminals. If you are unsure what systems you have in place or would like an assessment on how your business IT can be more secure then why not contact the team at Supportwise today.
If you are unsure what systems you have in place or would like an assessment on how you can protect your IT can be more secure then why not contact the Supportwise team today to get the ball rolling.