7 tips for improving your business' cyber-security

The digital landscape has many potential benefits for businesses. Unfortunately, there are also issues that all businesses should be aware of. We are currently seeing a rise in hacking. Hackers are always looking for new ways to break into business systems and databases – resulting in many significant data breaches in recent years. If your business isn’t protected against attacks, your data and (crucially) your customers’ data are at risk.

Your data is your business

A security breach isn’t just an IT issue. Compromised data is a breach of trust between your business and stakeholders – one that can be hugely damaging for your brand reputation and consumer’s perception of the company.

So, why are so few companies taking cyber security seriously? And what can you do to enhance your cybersecurity and protect your valuable data?

It’s the customer information in your CRM system, the supplier details in your invoicing system and the financial data in your accounting software. It’s your bank account details, your confidential client information and your company’s secret intellectual property or hard-won R&D findings. Data loss damages your business. Protecting the safety and security of your data and systems must be a top priority for any business owner.

Contact our Lead Digital Consultant, Mark Thwaite to book your free digital health check

Contact our Lead Digital Consultant, Mark Thwaite to book your free digital health check

Seven ways to boost your cyber security:

  1. Make cyber security a company-wide concern – cyber security has to be a concern for the whole business and something where you have clear advice, processes and training in place for. The better your employees are prepared for protecting the company’s valuable data, the less chance there will be of a security error or accidental data breach.
  2. Keep devices and computing hardware secure – if employees are using laptops and other devices for work, it’s vital that they keep this hardware safe. Don’t leave computers unattended. Offer secure lockers and desk drawers where laptops and devices can be secured and always think about the security implications of leaving your hardware anywhere other than in the office.
  3. Use a secure network connection – always use the company network or an approved virtual private network (VPN) when connecting to work applications, databases and shared folders. By using a secure network connection, you greatly reduce the chances of your data being intercepted and stolen, with VPNs allowing employees to log in securely when off-site or working at a client’s premises.
  4. Store important data in the right place – your business should have clear protocols regarding what kinds of data can be saved, and where this information should be stored. Data stored on employee laptop hard drives means your business is one lost laptop away from a security breach. Set up clear guidelines on which drives and folders to use, and make sure only the right people have access to any confidential folders and content.
  5. Use proper authentication and encryption – use two-factor or even multi-factor authentication for access to your cloud and SaaS tools. Ensure your business has data encryption for any confidential information that's shared. By implementing the security steps, you greatly reduce the risk of a breach. 
  6. Factor in the added security threat of WFH – there are extra threats to consider if your business is operating a work from home (WFH) policy. Good cyber security at home means using a secure VPN, keeping laptops safely stored, always using the latest versions of applications and not sharing passwords with family or flatmates.
  7. Log all security breaches – if the worst does happen, make sure to log every security or data breach – be transparent about what’s happened when communicating with customers, suppliers or employees who may have been affected. The sooner all stakeholders are aware of the issue, the sooner you can work to resolve the problem and limit the potential damage.

Speak to IT security experts and protect your data

Keeping your data safe and secure is now a foundational need for any business. Contact our Lead Digital Consultant, Mark Thwaite, and book a FREE Digital Health Check. Mark will be able to review your current systems, networks and security practices and advise you on the key actions that are needed to tighten up your security.

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