Five Ways to Improve Your Cyber Security


Five ways to improve your cyber security and keep ahead of hackers

You wouldn’t leave your company’s confidential information or a customer’s bank details lying around the office for an opportunist thief to pick up.  However, if you’re storing this type of data online and neglecting your cyber security, that could be just what happens.

Last year saw the cost of hacking to UK businesses increase by up to three times.  The government’s 2013 Information Security Breaches Survey found that 87% of small businesses, and 93% of large businesses, had reported at least one cyber breach.  These breaches resulted in costs of up to £65,000 for small businesses, and up to £850,000 for larger firms.

This could be due to hackers or in some cases human error, but whichever way it all resulted in leaving customer’s data vulnerable to theft or misuse.  The cost to the reputation of those companies is anybody’s guess.

Five Ways to Improve Your Cyber Security

Bearing this in mind, it is all the more surprising that a recent survey carried out by BT earlier this year (BT Cyber Security Research, Feb 2014) found just 17% of business leaders see cyber security as a major priority.  Despite most companies recognising that staff best practice is a major way to prevent IT security breaches, only 37% have trained managers in cyber safety.  When you take into account the Information Commissioner’s Office fine of up to £500,000 for compromising personal data, it definitely makes sense to get on top of your cyber safety.

Blissful ignorance, of the threat, is no defence in this area - cyber security (or the lack of it in some cases) is making the news headlines on a daily basis.  On a single day earlier this year Tesco lost 2,000 customer’s details to thieves trying to steal store vouchers and three South Korean credit card companies were fined for neglecting their legal duties of protecting customer information.

But if even Tesco, with its huge security budget, is vulnerable - what chance does the small business have?  It doesn’t always have to be about a big budget, and there are many steps you can take to protect yourself.

AWP Computer Services' top five tips for ‘Cyber Security’

Here are our top five tips for ‘Cyber Security’.  It’s a surprisingly large number of businesses that aren’t taking these simple steps, yet they will give your business a solid foundation to build on:
  1. Talk about security with staff and create a culture where everyone cares about it.
  2. Always use good passwords and don’t reuse them in different places.
  3. Make sure you have up-to-date anti-virus software, and don’t click on links or attachments in emails you weren’t expecting.
  4. As well as taking care of PCs and laptop computers, remember to protect other staff devices (like smart-phones and tablets) too.
  5. Prepare for a disaster and make a recovery plan, for your own peace of mind.
There is a culture of BYOD (bring your own device) developing in a lot of industries, and whilst it can have obvious cost saving benefits, the are real risks if the security on these devices isn’t taken seriously.

The massive expansion of employee-owned devices, cloud computing and extranets, have multiplied the risk of abuse and attack, leaving organisations exposed to a vast array of internal and external threats – malicious and accidental.  The stakes are too high for cyber security to be pushed to the bottom of the pile.

If you would like to get some unbiased independent advice and need help with any area of your IT security, please get in touch with AWP Computer Services to discuss your options.

 CALL AWP Computer Services on 01772 698078


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