The recent attack on the NHS is an example of ransomware, which is becoming more and more ubiquitous in today’s society. This attack happened on a global scale causing major data loss to thousands of companies around the world and collectively costing businesses thousands of pounds in lost time and lost productivity.
According to a recent survey by the Ponemon Institute 80% of boards do not receive briefings on their company’s cyber security strategy. This is particularly shocking given that in August 2015 the details of close to two and a half million Carphone Warehouse customers were compromised. And even whilst you read that sentence 14 adults fell victim to cybercrime, and every day there are 1 million adult victims of cybercrime. The problem is that far too many businesses are not taking their digital security seriously. Ignoring these needs is the online equivalent of leaving their car unlocked with the key in the ignition. So here a few ideas to help implement a far safer online policy.
As hard as it is for us to appreciate, we have to accept that not everyone is technophile. Many people do not get thrills from updated software or chills from the latest release. So it is important to enhance your staff’s knowledge with a thorough understanding of the dangers of the internet. Even simple suggestions could have a tangible impact. Advise your staff to avoid keeping post-it notes with passwords and to create more, memorable complex passwords using acronyms and symbols such as: !”£$%^&*().
This is your first line of defence against any hopeful cyber hackers. Whilst many internet services come with some basic firewall protection these only monitor incoming traffic. Unfortunately this makes it all too easy for hackers to monitor outgoings that could well contain privileged information. Hackers are smart, so it is important you match their technique with your software. Installing additional software with the capability of applying more complex filters will help to protect your computer, and most importantly, your data. At SRIT we use mix of Sonicwall and SophosUTM firewalls to protect our clients.
- Password Managers
We have all sat at our screen and wondered which password goes with the account we are so desperately trying to access. It seems far easier to simply use the same password for everything, saving time and brain power trying to summon together the different variations of your birthday. However, having the same password makes it particularly easy for cyber hackers to infiltrate. Encourage your staff to use a Password Management system such as LastPass if necessary, a secure server that holds passwords.
- Anti-virus software
Viruses can easily infect a computer –slowing downloads, deleting files and even irrevocably damaging your server. This makes anti-virus software pretty important. When either of these two are found the anti-virus software eliminates the infected files. They are a bit like the James Bond of computer security, acting quickly and decisively. There are two types – standalone (for one computer) and centralised which is managed from a central computer, but work to protect an entire network. The latter is advisable for companies with multiple computers.
- Backup your data
Not only is losing data problematic for your business, but it can also result in some pretty serious legal complications. It is worryingly easy for viruses to corrupt files and either steal or destroy data. Backing up sensitive data using specialised software is an easy way to ensure the worst should never happen. We always advise to our clients that they keep both onsite and off-site backups for best protection.
If you are worried about cybercrime we can provide a free health check for small to medium size businesses whereby we will be more than happy to review your current systems and make recommendations if applicable to help safeguard you against ransomware and other forms of attacks. Click here to contact us today.