12 March 2018

Improve your cyber security in six steps

To protect their customers, staff and their own operations organisations need to take immediate action to enhance their security strategies.

Cyber security is the protection of computer systems from the theft and damage to their hardware, software or data, as well as from disruption to the services they provide.  Cyber security  is important to all of us due to our increasing dependence on technology for everything from shopping to communicating, and our propensity to share sensitive data about ourselves more widely and with more people and organisations than we have ever done before.

To protect their customers, staff and their own operations organisations need to take immediate action to enhance their security strategies.

Here are six recommendations for how organisations can go about doing just that:

  1. Backup your data – A very common form of cyber attack is to encrypt your data and demand a ransom to decrypt it.  Backing up your data regularly is a simple and effective means of countering this sort of attack!
  2. Secure your mobile devices – Especially if your staff use their own devices for work purposes, provide them with a secure way of working.  Consider device encryption, bio-metric identification, and requiring the use of VPN (Virtual Private Networks).
  3. Keep your software patched and up to date – this includes your firewall and anti virus software, and also your servers, applications and network software.
  4. Take advantage of free and trusted advice – the National Cyber Security Centre frequently publishes guidance, and earlier this month published guidance for small charities.  You should also consider obtaining Cyber Essentials or Cyber Essentials Plus certification, for a few hundred pounds this process will enable you to protect your organisation from a large proportion of known cyber security threats.  
  5. Involve the whole business – Security should be everyone’s job. Prioritise training to ensure your staff are aware of threats and can act as a first line of defence.
  6. Lead from the top – Ensure that your IT department has a voice in the boardroom and is able to help coordinate a top-down approach to security that highlights its role in protecting corporate value.

If organisations embrace these steps then you’ll find you’re able to better secure the business and have it in a position to thrive and hopefully stay one step ahead of any potential cyber security threat.

For further information on how we help clients minimise the threat from cyber security, please contact Doug Trainer.

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