Have you made any resolutions this New Year? Whether you have or you haven't there are resolutions you really need to make. They might not seem glamorous but they are vital to your business.
Cybersecurity was a big trend for 2019 and in 2020 it's going to become even more important. We've put together seven New Year's resolutions to will help protect your business from disaster.
Never assume you're safe
There is still an attitude among smaller sized businesses that cybercriminals won't waste their time attacking a small business. That is not the case. Actually, it's the complete opposite.
Small businesses make up the largest amount of the nation's £17 billion lost to cybercrimes. Why are they targeted so much? Frankly, it's because they are an easier target. Some will not have the budget or resources to properly protect themselves. But a big reason is complacency towards cybersecurity still exists within small businesses.
As long as they continue to think that their size is a defence against cyber-attack, or that no one is interested in them, they will continue to be at risk. No matter the size of your business cybersecurity is vital. Cyber attacks are still rising in number and the threat is not going away anytime soon.
Use caution with the Internet of Things
Yes, the Internet of Things (IoT) is great. Smart devices have helped us save time at work and home. We now have personal assistants on our phone, or a speaker and even the fridge!
Despite the great benefits you still need to be aware of the security risks when using IoT. For example, public WiFi seems very convenient and a way to save data but there are big security concerns because it is easy for hackers to get on the network and access devices.
This isn't meant to scare you off the IoT but more to make you aware that there are always security concerns you need to consider when using new technologies.
Educate yourself – and your staff!
Nearly half of all UK businesses were hit by phishing attacks in 2019 and 88 per cent of UK data breaches are caused by human error. A human error is more likely to defeat your security than a phishing attack. That is why it is so important to keep yourself educate and your team. There are training options out there so you can perform regular phishing training. Knowbe4 is a good example.
As well as the cybersecurity side of things you also need to consider compliance as well. GDPR is coming up to its 2nd anniversary and as part of it, you should be keeping your staff informed on how to protect your data. That includes dealing with phishing attacks.
Increase your cybersecurity budget
Only 2 per cent of business IT budget is used for security. In 2020 that number has to change. Protecting your data needs to be a primary concern to a company. 71 per cent of customers say they would take their business elsewhere after a data breach. Most businesses won't survive losing that amount of customers.
We just spoke about training and educating your staff and that does cost money. However, even a modest investment in security training has a 72 per cent chance of reducing the impact of a cyber-attack.
Now you may want to handle security within your business or you can use your budget to outsource your cybersecurity to experts in the form of an IT support provider. Whichever route you take it is important that your cybersecurity spend increases this year.
Make use of the Cloud
Storing your data on physical devices has security concerns that go away when you use the cloud. The focus of your security can shift from protecting something physical towards access to the data.
By using the Cloud you can increase security by managing user access rights much better than when your data is stored physically.
We are not going to pretend that the cloud will make all your security concerns just disappear but it will make the management, the access and the storage of your data much easier.
When working with the Cloud you will need to keep in mind the balance between security and user accessibility. Or you can have someone manage that concern for you. When it comes to cybersecurity if you have any doubt of your in house expertise you should look for help.
Use stronger passwords
As New Year's resolutions go you might not find a simpler one than this. It is also a very effective one. Often we rely on weak passwords because they are easy to remember but weak passwords are a hackers dream.
Reusing the same password across different applications and platforms is another error to avoid. One data breach and that password is in the hands of cybercriminals.
The solution to these problems is really simple. Password managers. Using a password manager means you will only have one password to remember, while the software will help you set unique complex passwords that will instantly increase your online security.
Don't click on every link
91 per cent of hacking attacks begin with a phishing email. Even with the best anti-spam software phishing emails are still reaching your inbox because they are very good. Cybercriminals have increased the sophistication of their attempts as they prey on human behaviour
78 per cent of employees are aware of the risks of suspicious email links but still click on them. That is because the emails look so convincing now. The days of the Nigerian Prince have long gone. Phishing emails are now often highly targeted and extremely convincing.
Despite the improvements in phishing attempts, there are still many ways to spot a phishing email and avoid clicking on a malicious link. Read this article to find out more about spotting phishing emails.
The number of cyberattacks on UK companies is continuing to rise. It's now a case of when and not if your business will be targeted. These 7 resolutions are designed to help you better to protect your business from the growing cyber threat.