Cyber Crime is on the rise. Every day businesses both large and small are being hacked and having data leaked to public sites, costing businesses billions of dollars a year.
Unfortunately local businesses are an international target for hackers for two simple reasons:
- We are considered to be a very rich nation by global standards and so make for an attractive victim of cyber crime.
- Many of our small businesses are comparatively relaxed about IT security and data protection.
Now more than ever we need to make sure that all of our devices are secure when we are connecting them to the internet. We need to think less about whether the Cloud is secure and more about whether our devices are secure.
What can you do?
Here are some precautions you can take to improve your security:
- Set-up next-generation firewalls on your office network. The modem/router that your ISP provides is typically just to get you connected it will not offer the level of filtering and protection that a firewall can. A next-generation firewall is one that offers features such as anti-virus, anti-spam and intrusion prevention.
- Encrypt the data on your devices as it travels on the internet and when stored in the cloud. Intel and other vendors offer hard drive encryption solutions especially for tablet and mobile devices so your data can only be viewed with a password.
- Use strong passwords for accessing your devices so they cannot be cracked if lost. ‘password’ is not a strong password but ‘Pa$$w0rd#’ is a very strong password and relatively easy to remember. The mix of upper and lowercase numerals and symbols changes the simple word to a very complex one.
- Use spam filters to reduce attacks by removing phishing emails and any malicious code in attachments to email messages.
- Anti-virus software is more important than ever as different forms of attacks increase. Every server, PC and device should now be protected. There is no safe ground because even the less popular products have millions of users and the size of the target is attracting more malicious attacks.
- Solid backup to ensure that when the worst happens (e.g. the latest Cryptolocker virus) there is a path to restoring systems and data quickly with minimal loss of time and data.
If you manage all these security and protection aspects then your business is safe enough to be on the web. Leave any one of these gaps open and you place your business data at tremendous risk. If you are not sure or you need some advice please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org .