71 per cent of customers say they would take their business elsewhere after a data breach. Cybersecurity is so important because of these types of consequences. Coupled with the increased threat of cyber attack to UK businesses means your business needs to be protected and prepared for the worst.
In this article, we give you 9 ways you protect your business from a cyber attack.
Secure Your Data
There are lots of ways you can make sure your data is protected. The first step is to decide who in the business needs access to what data. Then use that list to lock down access to that data.
Using an offsite backup can also protect your data. This backup can be used to restore business-critical data in the worst-case scenario. You can also get you data handled by an IT support provider, who will manage your whole data backup process.
Training and awareness
To protect your data everyone in your business will need to take responsibility for cybersecurity. 88 per cent of UK data breaches are caused by human error. So educating and training your staff is an important step in protecting your business from a cyber attack.
You and your employees will always be the most vulnerable area of your cybersecurity. No software can 100% stop someone from clicking a malicious link or allowing infected files into the company's network. Keep your staff educated and up to date on the latest cybersecurity trends and your companies cybersecurity policy.
Keep software updated
You should make sure that all the software used in your company is running the latest version. Applications running on old versions are susceptible to attacks. When a product discovers a security gap they roll out an update to fix that vulnerability. If you are not updating regularly you will be at greater risk.
Regular patching and product updates are something you can leave in the hands of an IT support provider. They will monitor and install the latest updates and your business doesn't need to worry about staying on top of them.
Make sure to define the access that each staff member has to not only data but applications. Using access management will limit the number of people who have access to your data, key applications and your network. This means fewer means of entry for hackers as well.
It's advisable to designate administrators and only give them access to the full functionality of an application, your network or system. The rest of your staff should only be given access to the application and data that they require in their job. If a hacker does get access to their credentials you will limit the amount of access they will have and the damage they can cause your business.
Monitor Tech Vendors Closely
If you buy IT services, such as Cloud storage or SaaS platforms, from a third party you must monitor them closely. Make sure they are managing their own cybersecurity effectively.
Likewise, if you are storing or inputting your data into a third-party tool such as a CRM. Never assume their security is in place, always check and monitor it. If a hacker gains access to one of these third parties then they will also have access to your data.
Data is only useful to a hacker if they can read it. One of the best ways to protect your data is to encrypt it. If your business ever does suffer a data breach then you know your data is still safe because it is encrypted. That can also protect you from future attackers because hackers will know it is not worthwhile.
Trust the Experts
Unless you have the internal expertise and resource to monitor your network and device access within your business it is a good option to outsource. An IT support provider can provide real-time monitoring of your network and systems.
They can monitor your company firewall and your internal network. This would allow them to highlight any suspicious activity and take the steps needed to protect your data.
Repeat and reiterate
Cybersecurity is not a one and done process. Even if you follow all these tips and many more your job is not complete. You will still need to constantly revise and reiterate your cybersecurity procedures and policies. Hackers move at a frightening pace so best practices 6 months ago might not be appropriate now. Also, your business will adapt and change over time and that might lead to additional vulnerabilities you will need to account for.
This is where working with an IT support provider becomes invaluable. Your company might be able to take the time and resources to put together a cybersecurity policy for the business but unless that is continuously being updated it will become useless. By putting it in the hands of experts you can be assured of the quality as well as not having to worry about continuingly updating it yourselves.
Incident response plan
For all the protection and policies you put in place, preparing for the worst also needs to be part of your strategy. Sadly it is impossible to keep yourself 100% save from a cyber attack, you can greatly reduce the chances but someway a hacker will still make it through. So having a clear response plan is the difference between a data breach ruining your company to being able to recover quickly.
A good response plan will highlight the clear actions that will need to be taken in the event of a breach. By practising this process you can help reduce the impact of a cyber attack when it hits your business.
We wrote an article on how you can make a business continuity plan for your company.
Securing your business from cyber attacks needs to be a priority. These 9 steps are a good starting point but cybersecurity is an ongoing effort. Hackers and cybercriminals continue to evolve and become more sophisticated so cybersecurity will need to evolve at the same rate.
Outsourcing your cybersecurity to an IT provider is a great way to get peace of mind that your business protected not just today but in the future as well. For more information on how Infotech can help your business with cybersecurity contact us here, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01634 52 52 52.