Protect Your Business from Cyber Crime with These 8 Cyber Essentials
Updated: Apr 25
Cyber crime is on the rise, and businesses are suffering huge losses every day from attacks. From stealing sensitive information to infecting devices with ransomware, cyber criminals are becoming more successful and sophisticated every day. The global cost of cyber crime to businesses is expected to reach $10.5 trillion by 2025.
To protect your business, it's crucial to take action now.
Here are 8 simple yet essential security measures, which we call "Cyber Essentials," to help you get started. Don't wait until it's too late - take action today to secure your business from cyber threats.
As cyber attacks become more frequent and sophisticated, controlling access to your devices and critical business systems is fundamental to staying secure. Hackers target passwords, and they use tech-based brute-force attacks or social engineering to crack them. To safeguard your business, enforce password policies that require employees to use strong passwords of at least 8 to 10 characters. Remember, length is more important than complexity when it comes to password strength. To protect against brute-force attacks, configure user accounts to lockout after 10 failed login attempts.
MULTI-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION (MFA)
REALITY CHECK! Let's face it, employee passwords are at risk of falling into the hands of cybercriminals, whether through tech-based attacks or social engineering tactics. But you can take action to protect your business against this threat. One effective security measure is setting up multi-factor authentication (MFA) on all important accounts. MFA requires an additional step beyond entering a password, such as entering a code sent to your phone or email, to log in. This extra layer of security can keep user accounts safe. Even if a hacker manages to guess your password, they won't be able to access your accounts without that extra code or key.
A firewall acts as a digital barrier between your computer and the internet, much like a bouncer at a club checking IDs to keep the bad guys out. But a firewall is only effective if it's set up and configured correctly. To safeguard your business, set up firewalls on all devices and servers, and keep them up-to-date. Regularly updating your firewall's settings and software is crucial to protect against new and emerging threats.
Cybercriminals often exploit bugs in software, like web browsers, operating systems, and business applications, to infect devices with malware. But you can protect your business by implementing patch management, the process of updating and maintaining software to fix bugs, security vulnerabilities, and other issues. Think of it like taking your car in for an oil change, but instead of a greasy mechanic, it's a team of nerds fixing code in a room somewhere. Prioritise updating your business's antivirus software and firewall to protect against new security threats, and automate the patch management process as much as possible. Many software programs have built-in options to automatically check for and install updates, saving you time and ensuring your systems are always secure.
The term "endpoint" includes all devices connected to your company's network, such as servers, employee workstations, mobile devices, and even IoT devices like security systems or machinery. These endpoints are vulnerable to cyber attacks, and it's crucial to protect them. Anti-virus (AV) software is an effective security measure against common malware. Install AV software across all endpoints and enable automatic updates to ensure protection against the latest threats.
Imagine the worst-case scenario - cybercriminals have infiltrated your systems and locked you out of everything - your critical business files, devices, and applications are all encrypted. The only way to regain access is to pay the hackers a ransom of 1 million dollars or more. Regularly backing up your systems and data is a crucial security measure that can save your business from such a nightmare. Even if hit with a ransomware attack, proper backups can enable you to restore your systems quickly and get back to work. Store backups in multiple locations, including the cloud and external hard drives that are not connected to the internet, to ensure attackers cannot access them. Regularly test your backups to ensure they're working and to determine how long it would take to restore data and systems in an emergency.
SECURITY AWARENESS TRAINING
Despite all the great security measures available, over 80% of data breaches, today are caused by human error. That's why security is more than just an IT problem. Every user in your organisation is a target and a potential weak link for attackers. However, with proper education, your employees can become your greatest security asset. Train your employees regularly on data security, phishing attacks, and security policies and procedures. Set up systems that allow them to report any suspicious emails or activity and build a culture of security within your organisation.
Despite all the security measures in place, the reality is that there is a good chance your business could fall victim to a cyber attack. The cost of business disruption, replacing devices, rebuilding systems, and recovering data could be crippling and force many businesses to close their doors for good. The good news is that you can transfer that risk with specialist cyber insurance policies. By demonstrating that you have basic controls in place and are taking cyber security seriously, insurers will have your back when things get tough. Cyber insurance not only covers financial losses but also provides specialist response services to expertly navigate the nightmare of an attack and have you back on your feet in no time. Protect your business from the devastating effects of cyber attacks with cyber insurance.
Stop delaying and start taking this threat seriously. Implement these cyber essentials and get ahead of this major business risk today.
GoldPhish educates end-users on the cyber threat and helps build more secure organisations with awareness training and simulated phishing
Get in touch for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org