How to keep your business safe from cyber security threats

October 23rd, 2018
How to keep your business safe from cyber security threats

It is important to protect your business against cyber security threats and ensure that you have a plan in place to help prevent cyber attacks from badly impacting your business. Like managing any business risk, you can put the right controls, processes and tools in place to protect your data and your business.

What impact could a cyber attack have on your business?

  • financial loss – from theft of money, information, disruption to business
  • business loss – damage to reputation, damage to other companies you rely on to do business
  • costs – getting your affected systems up and running
  • investment loss - time notifying the relevant authorities and institutions of the incident.

It’s a good idea to put an effective cyber security plan in place if your business accesses the internet or email to conduct business.

Below are some simple steps that you can take to help protect your business against a cyber security threat:

Back up data

Backing up your business’s data and website may help you recover what you could lose in the event of an attack. It is essential that you regularly back up your important data and information, from financial records and business plans to customer records and personal information. This will lessen the damage in the event of a breach or computer problem. Fortunately, backing up your data is generally cost-effective and easy.

Secure your computer and devices

Small pieces of software known as malware or viruses can infect your computers, laptops and mobile devices. Install security software on your business computers and devices to help prevent infection and ensure it includes anti-virus, anti-spy ware and anti-spam filters. Make sure that you set your security software to update automatically as updates may contain important security upgrades based on recent viruses and attacks.

Set up firewall security to protect your internal networks. Remember to install the firewall on all your portable business devices and keep them updated and patched to prevent threats entering your network.

Monitor and protect the use of computer equipment and systems

Maintain a record of all the computer equipment and software used by your business. Keep items secure to prevent forbidden access and remind employees to be mindful of where and how they keep their devices. Remove any software or equipment that you no longer need and ensure that no sensitive information is on them when thrown out.

Protect important information

Make sure you encrypt your data when stored or sent online so only approved users can access it.

Encryption converts your data into a secret code before you send it over the internet. This reduces the risk of resource theft, destruction or tampering. Make sure you turn your network encryption on.

Manage administrative passwords

Change all default passwords and look at disabling administrative access entirely to avoid an attacker from gaining access to your computer or network. Make sure you change each password to something new that can’t be easily guessed.

Choose strong passwords and frequently change them

By creating strong passwords, you are improving your digital security. Use passwords to protect access to your devices that hold important business information. Having a password such as ‘123456’ or worse still, ‘password’ is leaving yourself open to being hacked.

Frequently change your passwords every few months. If you use the same password for everything, once someone has your password, all your accounts are potentially under attack.

Use spam filters

Use spam filters to reduce the amount of spam and phishing emails that your business receives. Spam messages are usually from a person or company that you don’t know, and they often contain offers too good to be true. Don’t respond, attempt to unsubscribe or call the number provided in the message. The best thing to do is delete them. Applying a spam filter will help reduce the chance of you or your employees opening a phishing or fraudulent email by accident.

Educate your staff to be safe online

It is important to train your staff on the cyber security threats they can face online and the major role they play in keeping your business safe. Your staff need to be aware of their computer rights and responsibilities as well as their network access usage. Be specific about the types of online practices that are acceptable when using work computers, devices and emails.

Training staff on maintaining good passwords, being aware of fraudulent emails and reporting suspicious online activity will help ensure good cyber security practices.

Put security measures in place

Have policies and processes in place for your staff that outlines what is the accepted standard when accessing data, emails and the internet.

Establish a strong social media policy, which sets what type of business information your staff can share online, and where. An attacker can develop a convincing scam tailored to your employee by building a profile from their business and personal information they post online.

Protect your customers

No matter the size of your customer information database, it is important that you keep it safe. Aside from being a huge blow to your organisation’s reputation, there may be legal consequences for losing customers’ personal information.

There are privacy laws that determine what you can do with the personal information of your customers. It is important to be aware of the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) and have a clear and up to date privacy policy. The privacy policy outlines the information you collect, what you use it for and how you protect it. It is a good idea, if you are online, to have this available on your website.

Keep yourself informed about the latest cyber security risks

Online transaction issues and payment fraud can be a real concern for businesses trading online. It's important to stay informed about the latest scams and security risks.

Seek help from experts

It is important to be well prepared in the case of a cyber security threat. The team at CCTS IT Solutions are here to help you get this sorted and help you to put in place all precautions to help prevent a cyber attack for your business. Contact the team today to schedule a complimentary consultation, call 1800-244-244 or email contactus@ccts.com.au. or check out our page on network security Here

INFORMATION TO HELP KEEP YOUR BUSINESS STAY SAFE

Here are some helpful online resources to explore to help you keep your business safe.

Microsoft security information

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/security/default.aspx

Apple / iOS security information

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201220

Android security information

https://www.android.com/intl/en_au/security-center/

Stay Smart Online > Protect your business

https://www.staysmartonline.gov.au/protect-your-business

Other Resources:

Australian Government

https://www.business.gov.au/Risk-management/Cyber-Security

Tag: Cyber security threat