On global Computer Security Day, Monday 30th November, we offer field service SMEs 10 tips staying safe in cyberspace from David Tindall, managing director Talk Straight, the UK business telecoms and ISP provider .
Cyber-attacks are still a clear and present danger and as the threats continue to evolve, so it’s important that SMEs adapt their security methods to tackle these new dangers, says Tindall. Here are his top 10 tips:
- Educate - 50% of the worst cyber security breaches last year were caused by inadvertent human error. In particular, raise awareness of phishing and baiting scams.
- Social media safety and security is paramount – work related information should not be accessible by social media. Personal accounts are much easier to infiltrate than a secure business network.
- Train your staff. Currently around 63% of SMEs nationwide provide ongoing security awareness training. Due to the nature of the cyber beast, the threat is constantly evolving so keep them abreast of the latest developments
- Invest in the defence - the tools for tackling cyber-attacks are worth their weight in gold. The average price of a single breach is continuing to soar, with damage to an SME costing anywhere between £75k and £311k. For a larger business, that cost can rise into the millions.
- Monitor your web traffic - good practice for any SME regardless of cyber security. Quickly identifying a sudden or irregular level of activity can significantly soften the blow of a cyber-attack. There are a range of free and paid services that will help your business accurately
- Stay updated! 59% of businesses expect to suffer more security incidents within the next year. Being aware of the changing digital landscape and its potential new threats can help keep you ahead of the game.measure traffic.
- Plan! Should the worst case scenario happen, are you prepared? Do you, your IT staff or external telecoms provider have the proper protocols in place to react? Offsite back-ups and mirrored servers are some of the most common practises that help prevent the irreversible loss of data.
- Use a professional. Put your cyber security in the hands of a professional. Be it internal IT staff or a telecoms provider’s Managed Security Service, their expertise will help them quickly recognise potential dangers and keep your network secure.
- Assess the risks. Knowing where you’re most vulnerable, or what data/network would be most attractive to a potential cyber security attacker is valuable information. You or your IT department/service are then able to prioritise security and be aware of the most likely forms and targets of attack.
- Report any attack. If you are unfortunate enough to suffer a damaging attack, report it. This is your best chance of recouping any losses and bringing the guilty party to justice. The UK's National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU) and The Cyber Incident Response (CIR) scheme should be your first ports of call.
Talk Straight provides internet services to hundreds of UK businesses and was awarded winner of Best Business use of Cloud and finalist for internet safety and security at the 2014 Internet Service Providers Association Awards. It is also a managed security service provider for US network security specialist Fortinet in the UK.