12 Nov Cyber Security: Is your Business Focused Enough?
Why are so few companies taking cyber security seriously? And what can you do to enhance your cyber security and protect your valuable data?
We live in a digital world where our company’s data and (crucially) our customers’ data are under constant attack. Hackers are always looking for new ways to break into your systems and databases. This has resulted in many significant data breaches in recent years.
However, when hackers breach your security, and your data is compromised, this isn’t just an IT issue. It’s a breach of trust between you, your customers, and your suppliers. A breach that can greatly effect for your brand reputation and consumers’ perception of the company.
In the 21st century, your data = your business
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.
If you lose your data, you damage the business too. So protecting the safety and security of your data and systems must be a top priority for any business owner.
To boost your cyber security:
- Make cyber security a company-wide concern; if a data breach occurs, there’s no use blaming the IT department after the fact. Cyber security has to be a concern for the whole business. You need to have in place clear advice, processes, and training. The better your people are prepared to protect the company’s valuable data, the less chance of a security error or accidental data breach.
- Keep devices and computing hardware secure; where your employees are using laptops and work mobile devices; they must keep this hardware safe. Don’t leave computers unattended in laptop bags in a coffee shop or bar. Also, don’t leave your phone unsupervised on a hot desk. Offer secure lockers and desk drawers where laptops and devices can be secured. Always think about the security concerns of leaving your hardware anywhere other than in the office.
- Use a secure network connection; when connecting to work applications, databases, and shared folders, always use the company network or an approved virtual private network (VPN). By using a secure network connection, you significantly reduce the chances of your data being intercepted and stolen. VPNs allow employees to log in securely when off-site or working at a client’s premises.
- Save essential data in the right place; you should have clear protocols regarding what kinds of data can be saved and where this information should be stored. If employees store spreadsheets full of confidential client information on their laptop hard drives, you are only one lost laptop away from a security breach. Set up clear guidelines on which drives and folders to use. Make sure only the right people have access to any confidential folders and content.
- Use proper authentication and encryption; use two-factor authentication or even multi-factor authentication to access all your cloud and SaaS tools. Make sure you have appropriate data encryption of any confidential information that’s shared. By putting the best possible security steps in place, you significantly reduce the risk of a slip-up.
- Factor in the added security threat of WFH; with so many employees now working from home (WFH), there are extra threats to factor in. 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, etc.
- Log all security breaches; if the worst-case scenario does happen, make sure to log every security or data breach. When you communicate with customers, suppliers, or employees who have been affected, be transparent about what’s happened. The sooner all your stakeholders are aware of the issue, the sooner you can resolve the problem.
Speak to IT security experts and protect your data
Keeping your data safe and secure is now a basic need for any business. If you want to reduce your security worries, speaking to a cyber security expert is sensible. They will be able to review your current systems, networks, and security practices. They can then advise you on the critical actions needed to tighten up your security.