How do I protect my business from cyber crime?

 Today’s business environment moves at a rapid pace with a growing reliance on technology, social media and the internet to manage costs and maintain market advantage. This brings with it emerging risks that could result in lost revenue, business down time and a host of unforeseen costs and legal liabilities which could potentially ruin your business. 
According to a recent survey, 74% of small organisations experienced a security breach last year, with the average cost of a breach rising sharply from £75,000 in 2014 to £311,000 last year. This is clearly a massive cost which many small and large businesses could never afford to cover. The survey also found that nearly 9 in 10 large organisations now suffer some form of security breach – suggesting that these incidents are now a near certainty.

High-profile cyber attacks have been hitting the headlines with increasing frequency over the past year, putting security risks firmly in the spotlight. With celebrities, big businesses and small enterprises all coming under attack, it seems that no one is safe.

The following are tips that businesses can us to stave off cyber crime:

1. Keep your operating systems updated and regularly patched.
2. Ensure your firewall is on and invest in a decent, reliable anti-virus programme.
3. Keep your browsers updated at all times with the latest version of the software.
4. Keep all system software such as Microsoft Office, Adobe etc updated.
5. Encrypt your wireless network. Only give the password to those you trust and don’t write it down.
6. Restrict software and set up administrative rights so that nothing can be installed or updated on company computers without authorization.
7. Use filtering that controls access to data.
8. Block access to restricted sites with internet filters to prevent employees and hackers from uploading data to storage clouds.
9. Remove or disable USB ports so that malicious data can’t be downloaded. If USB devices are a necessary part of the job, then make sure your devices are regularly checked for viruses.
10. Implement strict password policies. Make it a term and condition of employment to impress the importance of the matter.
11. Encrypt entire drives, folders and files with passwords.

If businesses do nothing, assuming a ‘nothing can happen to us’ mentality, then it’s only a matter of time before a security hack. If personal details of your customers are stolen and you haven’t taken the correct measures to protect them, then you could face legal action. Security in any company of any size is ultimately everyone’s responsibility. 
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