Think of all the information your business holds: credit card information, payroll details, confidential information about your clients, as well as access to private materials, the list could go on!
Now imagine you walked into work tomorrow morning to find all that information had been hacked. You no longer have access or control to it, and the attacker was threatening to release your information to the public unless you pay an absurd amount of money.
Unfortunately, for SMEs this is a reality that hits home. If the recent headlines have been worrying you and you’re considering kicking your cyber security plan into overdrive, then check out our top 5 components to a security plan:
1. Know the data you have
If your files were stolen, without being alerted to the fact by the hacker, would you notice?
The top cybersecurity practitioners advise businesses to get an overview of their assets, what information is of the most value (or most detrimental to have leaked), as well as an outline of what the business would need to do in the event that the information was leaked.
The gives power back to SMEs in the situation where they are needed to recover from a cyber-attack.
2. Make sure you employees have adequate training
When it comes to cyber security, ignorance can get you into A LOT of trouble, so don’t turn a blind eye to the importance of generating cyber security awareness for your employees.
It should be top priority in your business to ensure everyone has a sound understanding of safe online practices.
Most cyber-attacks stem from phishing attacks which use social engineering to get the victim to click on a malicious link or attachment, making your employees cyber security skills super important.
Pro tip: Want to test yours (and your employee’s) cyber security knowledge? Take a free 5 minute test to see if you can identify which emails and websites are real or fake! Give it a go here!
3. Make sure your systems are up to date
There are no excuses for this one! When something as simple as keeping your operating systems up to date can help protect you from an attack you can’t let it slide.
We know it can be an inconvenience when you are in the middle of a report to get a notification to shut down and update our Windows or Anti-Virus systems, but it is so important. Make a concerted effort to update the system that day – don’t leave it a whole week!
These updates have updated defenses for vulnerabilities and backdoors into these software systems. Making sure the security of these systems are up to date is the first line of defense for your business!
4. Invest in the right tools
As it is with most things, you need ‘the right tools to get the job done’, this is also true with cyber security.
There are a lot of great tools out there, but your business is unique, and so are the tools that are most suited to your business.
However, a good cyber security system will be able to give you an Indicator of Compromise (IoC) if you were to have a security breech. This tool is like a home alarm, where when a signal is raised, it is a strong sign something is not right and warrants a check.
Pro tip: One tool that all businesses can benefit from is Microsoft’s Advanced Threat Protection. This tool scans all the emails sent to your inbox and discards those where an attachment is deemed malicious, and blocks/replaces malicious links. This means you can have confidence that anything that lands in your inbox is safe to click!
5. Chat with an expert
With whole businesses devoted to keeping other businesses protected from cyber-attacks, it would be best to not try ‘go it alone’ in terms of cyber security. Find an expert that you can trust, and consider partnering with them.
These experts are on the pulse of this ever-shifting landscape, and can ensure your business is too! They can also give you insights into the weaknesses a business has, and make recommendations on what steps you should to take to best protect yourself.
With technology playing such an integral role in business, it is important to get your cyber security plan in check! Start today – don’t wait until you’re a victim.