followers 0 popularity
following 1

following  view all

skintscot is not in any groups

Cyber Security: A Guide for Small Businesses

Feb 11th 2019 at 4:28 AM

With the introduction of GDPR laws by the EU, there has been an even greater focus on cyber security for small businesses. Not only can a cyber-attack really slow down operations of a business, it can also cause the public to lose all trust in your brand and lead to your company being fined thousands if not millions of pounds. Here we have put together a guide on how to protect your small business from possible cyber-attacks.

What Do I Need to Know About Malware?

Malware is a portmanteau of malicious software and is created by hackers in the hope of gaining access to a computer network and, ultimately, important sensitive data. One of the biggest problems with malware is that it can infect your computer system without you ever being aware until it’s too late. Malware can be described as a virus, but this term can also cover other malicious attacks which are very different. Malware can have different functions depending on the hacker’s intentions but is usually about making money out of the victim illegally. There are few signs that your computer system is infected such as random popups on your screen, the system crashing a lot more often, new toolbars and extensions populating your browser or suddenly having a lot less computer memory than you had before. Another more obvious form of malware is ransomware which announces itself and seizes all control of your computer system. The malware will only relinquish control of your system and important documents once a ransom has been paid.

It's important to recognise that malware can also infect mobile devices and be introduced through mobiles connected to the network.

Inside Versus Outside Attack

A cyber-attack can come from within your own company from a member of staff or someone who has access to security information. Anyone who has administrative access or knows someone who does can be a potential threat to security, becoming part of an inside attack. An inside attack could also be caused by someone who has recently left the company, perhaps on bad terms and is looking for revenge.

One of the most common types of attacks involve social engineering through something in the industry termed phishing. Phishing is a method of collecting sensitive information such as passwords and login details by posing as a legitimate service such as PayPal or a well-known bank. Phishing scams most commonly take place via email but can also be in the form or fake websites and apps. These types of attacks involve social engineering as they require the victim to be lured into a false sense of security, believing they are interacting with a legitimate person or piece of software.

Best Practices to Protect Your Business

One of the easiest and best ways to protect your business is to make sure you always keep your software up-to-date and backed up. Hackers always look for vulnerabilities in your computer network so keeping it fully updated will help avoid this. One of the cheapest and quickest ways to make sure your business is fully backed up and all software is kept updated is to invest in cloud computing. In the last few years large companies such as Apple and Amazon have invested large sums of money into the cloud, making it simpler to use and much more secure than it used to be. In a recent interview the owner of cloud computing investment company C5 Capital, Andre Pienaar, said, “…When we started investing in cloud-based companies at C5 many people saw the cloud as a blocker for cybersecurity.  Now we say that the cloud is part of the solution.” The cloud is also a cheap way for companies with limited capital to easily grow their IT infrastructure without huge investment.

Another important step to take in cyber security is to educate your employees and introduce a bring your own device policy, or a BYOD. Having a proper induction process to your company which teaches new employees what to look out for and how best to protect themselves from becoming vulnerable to an attack will make an attack less likely. A BYOD is a good way to introduce restrictions on how employees can use their own devices and use them to access the network; this will make it a lot harder for outside sources to gain access to your important files.

Please to comment

sign in

Remember Me

New to IM faceplate? join free!

Lost Password? click here