Cyber security: Are you really prepared?

If your business came under attack, would you be prepared? You may think that cyber criminals wouldn’t target your organisation, but it is likely that you are actually a prime target. 

Half of all cyberattacks are aimed at small businesses, with hackers targeting information such as personal data and credit card numbers.

According to a report published by the BBC, more than half of British firms reported cyberattacks this year, up 40% from 2018. Two in ten charities report cyber security breaches or attacks in the last 12 months. 

SonicWall’s Cyber Threat Report 2019 says that if a network, identity, device or data is valuable - particularly information tied to IP, financials, sensitive files or critical infrastructure - cybercriminals will ruthlessly target it.

From phishing scams to DDoS attacks via personal devices and undertrained employees, organisations are under constant fire. Such is the pressure that the subject of cyber security has gone beyond IT departments and into the c-suite. 

To fight back, businesses need to upskill when it comes to network security and have the most powerful and effective security software in place. But that is only half the battle.

The ultimate defence

Hackers have an arsenal of tools at their disposal but by being prepared, layering the right technologies and training employees, you can protect your business. A firewall, working alongside your anti-virus software, is your first line of defence. It will monitor, detect, report and investigate a breach on your network.

The subject of cyber security has gone beyond IT departments and into the c-suite.

If it is more than two years old then it might not be fully up to date, unable to identify new threats or inspect encrypted traffic.

A single password is no longer enough, add multi-factor authentication onto devices as an extra layer of security.

Other options include introducing penetration testing and adding email security, such as subject line warnings, to make external messages easily identifiable.

The breach within your team

Employees are often the biggest threat to an organisation’s cybersecurity. According to specialist security trainers KnowBe4, one in five security breaches is down to human error. 

There are a number of breaches that can happen: lost devices, mislaid documents, ignored security software updates, unlocked documents and clicking on or opening phishing emails can cause major breaches. Ensure your employees are aware of and stick to your security policies.

Hackers are also becoming more sophisticated in their phishing attacks. While SonicWall says that the volume of attacks is in decline, they are becoming more targeted and harder to identify.

Cyber criminals thoroughly research your organisation, your team members, their job titles, emails and interest.  They then use this information to send an incredibly believable internal email message with email signatures, emails and names cloned.

To mitigate this risk, regularly train staff and make them aware of the latest threats.

The anti-threat formula

The best approach to improving security is to ensure your defence technology solution is rock-solid, up to date, multi-layered and reviewed regularly, while minimise the opportunity for breaches by making employees security aware.

Finally, work with a managed IT partner. They can provide the technology, training, workshops and ongoing advice you need to create a robust framework that protects employees and your business.

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