5 ways to help protect your small business against cyber-crime

By Toby Kelly

5 ways to help protect your business against cyber-crime

1. Education is key

A common threat to your business today is via Phishing attacks. This method involves hackers sending emails to an employee pretending to be from a trustworthy source, such as a supplier or senior colleague, in order to gain access to your confidential data.

Social engineering has also become an increasingly common method used by hackers to access information about your employees including phone calls and social media, to trick them into offering them access to sensitive information.

Any cyber-security expert will tell you that untrained and uneducated employees represent the weakest point in any system, regardless of how strong your other defences may be. Creating a culture that promotes security awareness as well as an environment where staff are confident in spotting these types of attacks is key to preventing hackers from gaining access to your systems and data.

2. Keep your systems up to date

We appreciate that keep on top of your system and software updates can be a hard work, but this action alone can help prevent hackers from breaching your infrastructure. Updates and patches can often fix major flaws which you could not have resolved by yourself.

3. Risk assess regularly

In order to fully understand how effective your cyber-security measures are, you will need to have your systems assessed by a professional. Vulnerability assessments will identify any weaknesses that could be exploited by hackers and allow you to put measures in place to mitigate or eliminate them. If you want to take this a step further, Penetration Testing simulates a ‘real-world’ attack to uncover vulnerabilities as well as provide advice on how to make any improvements.

4. Implement a strong password policy

Attackers use a variety of techniques to discover your passwords, including social engineering as mentioned earlier, as well as key-logging and brute-force attempts. The aim of a password policy is to protect your organisation’s network by introducing rules and procedures around the use of passwords.

5. Put an Incident Response Plan in place

While we’re all working hard to prevent security breaches, we mustn’t forget to consider what we would do if the worst happened. Putting a Response Plan in place can help control and reduce the effects of a breach, and should include who you need to contact, how to reassure customers and staff, and how to get back on your feet as soon as possible.

If you’re not sure where to start, please get in touch and we can talk you through it.