Every business in the world is under the threat of a cyber-attack. Doesn’t matter the business is big or small the chances are there of a cyber-attack and if you won’t take proper security measures your business could be attacked too. According to a recent report the majority of the cyber-attacks last year were on enterprises with less than 100 employees. This is because small businesses don’t concentrate much on the cyber-security and are easy to attack.
To prevent this and keep your and the customers’ data safe you need to focus on your online security. There are many security standards that you can follow and make your business more secure. These standards were developed to provide small organisations a simpler and affordable way of improving online security.
One such security standard is cyber essentials. It was developed and launched by the UK government in 2014. Its purpose was to provide security guidelines to small businesses and then award them the certification
Cyber essentials scheme has five security practices which you can implement:
1. Secure your network
All your data and information is transferred through the network, so, its security must be your first priority. You need to protect your network from an unauthorized user, malicious attacks, DOS attack, and e-mail spoofing.
Use a firewall for this purpose which will monitor all network traffic and prevent unauthorized users to access the network. Install a network-based firewall to protect the overall network and a personal firewall on every employee’s computer who work from home.
2. Secure configuration
You need to change the default settings of the software you use. The default configuration of the new software makes it easier to attack. You need to check and change the settings to make the software more secure.
You also have to make your laptops and computers secure by using strong passwords. Make sure no employee uses default passwords or passwords that contain their personal information. You need to create and implement a strong password policy that forces employees to change their password every three months. Employees must also be prohibited from sharing their passwords to other employees.
3. Manage roles and privileges of the users
Everyone should have access only to the data they need. Every employee should have limited access to software and online services and when their work is done you need to revoke access. Define every user’s roles and permissions and make sure they stick to them.
4. Protect devices from malware
Malware infection is the easiest way to attack a computer. Hackers could attack your system and make it unusable and then ask for ransom. You need to protect your devices from malicious attacks. Install premium versions of anti-malware software and keep them updated.
You also have to reduce your internet downloads and protect your flash drives and other removable media from viruses.
5. Update your software and hardware
Keeping your software and hardware up to date is a good security measure. Install the latest versions of software and hardware and, also, Install software only from the trusted sources.
One good way of protecting your system is by installing a patch. Software companies regularly release patches to fix the bugs and holes in the software code. You must install these patches right after they are available.
If you implement these five security practices your business will be more secure. You can show your customers that their information is safe and you are consistently improving the security of the system. You can also work with the government as the government of the UK has made it compulsory for every government supplier to be cyber essentials certified.