Life is tough for UK businesses right now. Various indicators show the UK economy is on the brink of recession amid soaring costs for energy, fuel, and many other expenses. The last thing business owners need, then, is a costly cyberattack. Unfortunately, most cybercriminals are unlikely to afford them a break.
A recent government survey found that 39% of UK businesses had identified a cyberattack in the prior 12 months alone. Such efforts may target important business or customer data or both. The threats of a cyberattack range from minor disruption to huge financial and reputational damage.
Thankfully, there are several simple steps you can take to limit your business’ exposure. Here are four of the best to get started with.
Do a risk assessment
Just like you’d analyse and manage physical threats, it’s worth doing a risk assessment of your cybersecurity.
Start by identifying risks such as physical devices and all the systems and software that connect them. Judge the likelihood and potential impact of attacks, then prioritise these risks based on your findings. From here, you can plan to avoid or mitigate risks by various measures, such as cancelling activities or adding security controls.
Carry out cybersecurity training
You don’t need a full team of IT experts. But basic cybersecurity training should be mandatory in almost any modern business.
Tailor your training programme to your business, but one hot topic to cover is phishing. Phishing attacks involve criminals posing as other businesses or people to trick you into giving up information.
Other important items include password management and data protection practices while remote working.
Use a virtual private network (VPN)
Business VPNs encrypt data for every device in your company’s network, providing a private connection wherever they may be. This helps keep opportunistic snoopers and hackers at bay – as well as nosy internet service providers. They’re a great tool alongside other options, such as antivirus software.
Keep systems up to date
System and software updates might seem like a hassle, especially when they get in the way of your working. But most updates aren’t merely cosmetic upgrades. Instead, they tighten up security by fighting new or evolved threats.
This includes updates for laptop or computer operating systems, as well as applications and web browsers. It’s usually possible to set up automatic updates, eliminate choice and save yourself any manual effort.
Other savvy cybersecurity tips include making regular data backups and using two-factor authentication. Could your business be protecting itself better?