For most businesses, providing your staff access to the internet is essential for them to work effectively. However, along with the benefits this brings, there are also several cyber security risks, especially in terms of your business data security.
This means that it is important to have firm cyber security protocols in place for your business. To protect both your own business information, as well as any information that you store about your clients.
This week’s blog post offers some important advice when it comes to keeping your business data secure.
Cyber Security – Protect Your Networks
Though it is important to ensure the physical security of your devices, it is perhaps via network attacks that your business data is most at risk.
Ensure that only people who need to access your network can do so, as this will reduce the risks associated with unauthorised access and malicious content that could, either intentionally or accidentally, be introduced to the network.
Make sure that all wifi networks have strong passwords, and change any default passwords on third party networking kit.
Consider offering guests (or non-employees) a separate wifi network to the one used by your core business.
Be sure to regularly monitor and assess your network security controls, checking that any necessary firmware updates are made to routers and other network appliances.
Malware & Ransomware Prevention
Preventing malware and ransomware from entering your business network is vital. Not only is your data security at risk, but recovery of lost data can be expensive.
Keep your antivirus software up to date and carry out regular scans of all devices on a regular basis to keep the risk of infection to a minimum.
All operating systems should be updated on a regular schedule. Updates from software vendors will often patch security issues uncovered in earlier versions.
These two steps complement one another, as the effectiveness of your antivirus programs or the security of the software you use can be undermined if one or the other is out of date.
Manage User Privileges
Consider who needs access to sensitive business and client information on a regular basis, and change access privileges as necessary. Limiting access to sensitive information makes tracing activity much easier, should there be a data security breach.
Closely monitor the activity of any employees that do have access to such information, regardless of the employee’s position in the company.
User Education and Awareness
Ensure that employees are aware of your cyber security policies and are fully trained in the acceptable and secure use of any devices and networks.
Update them regularly on any new potential cyber security risks that they should be aware of and help them to consciously work to avoid these.
This training should cover the use of computers and laptops, as well as any other portable devices, whether used on premise or off-site, such as phones or USB drives.
Employees should be briefed based on their job roles, access levels and responsibilities, and this briefing should be updated on a regular basis.
Risk and Incident Management
It is important to assess the potential cyber security risks to your business and how you will respond in the case of a cyber security incident.
Regularly testing the effectiveness of your incident management plan and network security, updating it appropriately each time you carry out a risk assessment.
Ideally, you should assign responsibility for incident management to a specially trained individual within each department, ensuring that their training is kept up to date.
One of the best ways to ensure cyber security is to closely monitor all networks and devices daily. Monitoring and analysing logs mean you are aware of what ‘normal’ is, and allows you to notice any abnormalities.
Here the ICO share some “top tips” for IT Security https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-data-protection/it-security-top-tips/
Data breaches can have many damaging impacts on a business, including legal, financial and reputational ones, which means that cyber security should be of the highest priority. With regulations regarding GDPR coming into force soon it is more important than ever that all employees should be aware of not only how to avoid a potential breach but also how to act in the case that a cyber security incident does occur.
In order to prepare for the forthcoming GDPR, take a look at some important considerations here https://www.eolitservices.co.uk/environment-and-csr/eu-gdpr/ or, to find out more about how EOL can assist you in remaining compliant when it comes to the prevention of data breaches at end of life, call us today on 0845 600 4696.