Posted on 09 February 2021

Securing your business in 2021

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Research by Hiscox has revealed that an estimated 65,000 attacks are carried out on small to medium sized businesses in the UK every day. Although it’s easier to imagine big businesses and large organisations being the ideal targets for cyber-crime, these are often the hardest to infiltrate and exploit.

Worryingly, most small businesses tend to have much lower defences and fail to incorporate security into their IT strategy effectively. With 2021 well underway, we’ve put together a list of top tips to help you secure your business during this year.

Educate employees

One of the best lines of defence for businesses is their staff. Lack of employee training and awareness increase the risk of organisations becoming victims of a cyber-attack and potentially could cost your SME thousands.

By teaching your employees about best practices when it comes to staying secure, such as selecting strong passwords and spotting the signs of a phishing attack, you can ensure the people within your organisation are doing their part to be cyber-smart.

(In case you missed it, we’ve previously posted handy guides when it comes to creating strong passwords and preventing phishing attacks, feel free to share amongst your teams!)

Review systems access

When was the last time you checked who had access to your business information? By ensuring employees are only granted access privileges on a need-specific basis or by using a password tool with granular permissions, the threat of security breaches and data loss is minimised.

It’s a good idea to keep reviewing your system access privileges regularly to maintain security and also to revoke access for any staff who may have fallen through the net, including leavers or staff who may have moved to another department.

Encrypting devices 

By encrypting your devices and data you can ensure hackers can’t access your sensitive company information. Encryption works by translating data into code – which appears as gibberish to anyone that accesses your information that isn’t you. With more of us working remotely, it’s a great preventative measure to help your business stay secure.

Securing smartphones  

Smartphones are great for convenience and being able to work on the go, but they can also be hacked or stolen putting your data and business at risk. With more of us using smartphones for work purposes (think checking e-mails or signing into internal intranets), the risk for hackers to exploit security flaws and locate access points to your business network has also grown substantially.

We recommend securing your smartphones by having secure pin codes, remote wipe functionality and consistently updating devices to implement the latest fixes and security features your operating system has to provide.

Multi-factor authentication

Another measure you can take to secure your organisation is by implementing Multi-factor authentication (sometimes known as 2FA) on all your online accounts. MFA works by asking you to provide another form of verification such as a fingerprint or one-time passcode before access to your online accounts is granted. In the event your password was easily cracked or guessed, enabling MFA on your online accounts stops hackers in their tracks and prevents your data from falling into the wrong hands!

Updates and patches

By consistently updating your operating systems with the most up-to-date security features designed to fend off the latest cyber-threats (aka patch management), you can be assured that you are mitigating the risk of cyber-attack for your business and making yourself less vulnerable to hackers trying to infiltrate your systems.

A recent Ponemon report revealed that almost 60% of security breaches were down to poor patch management. So, how can you protect yourself? Promptly applying patches once they are released is one of the best ways to keep your business secure and prevents hackers exploiting poorly patched operating systems.

Use a virtual private network

By connecting to your server using a “Virtual Private Network” (VPN), you are establishing a secure encrypted connection which also helps fend off external attacks. They also provide the security of ‘data in transit’ across untrusted networks (NCSC).

If you are still connecting to servers in your organisation, it’s worthwhile considering the move to SharePoint if you haven’t already done so. SharePoint offers enterprise grade security including Microsoft security features, so you can be sure that your data stays safe at all times.

Fail to plan = plan to fail

Having sufficient backups of your data that are regularly tested is imperative to securing your business and ensures business continuity with minimal downtime and disruption should the worst ever happen.

Let’s say you had an office fire, or your files became corrupted, having a disaster recovery plan in place can help you pick up where you left off and stops you making any hasty decisions which could end up costing you more. By regularly reviewing your plan and scaling your recovery strategy alongside the growth of your business, you can also prevent the disgruntled customer loss often associated with disaster downtime.

Get started with a freebie on us!

We’re offering all our readers a free, yes free, dark web scan on your company domains to ensure your personal information (including financial information) isn’t being touted on the dark web (websites that can only be accessed by specialised browsers and are usually home to a whole host of illegal activity). We’ll be able to tell you how many of your user accounts may have been compromised and how many active risks your organisation is facing. It’s one piece of a much larger cyber-security puzzle but a great place to start!

Ready to get started?

Whether you’re unsure of what your business needs to build resilience against cyber-attacks, or you’re considering a complete digital transformation, Infuse are here to help your business every step of the way. Get in touch at [email protected] to get started!