The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) was opened by Her Majesty the Queen last week, placing business security under the spotlight. The centre is the first of its kind in the UK and has been created to identify threats to the nation’s digital presence, preventing attacks that could significantly impact businesses and the economy. A cyber attack can manifest in several ways, the most common being the acquisition of personal data, or intrusion into computer systems. With the UK economy dependent on digital services, particularly from cloud based applications to facilitate the functionality of small businesses, there would be significant consequences should the UK be subjected to prolonged and sustained cyber attacks.
While it is reassuring that there is a vigilant agency like the NCSC watching over cyberspace, there are extra measures you can take to proactively ensure your customer’s company infrastructure is as secure as possible. Perform a little digital house-keeping, starting with a risk assessment of their current systems, processes and policies to help you spot gaps in their security and plan a strategy for keeping cyber attacks to a minimum. To help you, we’ve put together seven ways you can boost your customer’s business security…
From time to time, employees will notice that they receive an automated message reminding them to update the software they are using. Update it. Each update helps to patch their existing applications, adding essential protection to online operations.
Lock and load
Make it harder for potential hackers and opportunistic criminals to access your customer’s systems by reminding employees to lock computers when they are idle, even if they leave their workspace for just a few minutes. Ensure that they are using strong passwords, using a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Remind them never to set a password as ‘password1234’.
While spam filters work hard to prevent malicious content reaching your customer’s inbox, should a suspicious email make it through, remind them never to open any attachments and delete it immediately. In fact, using our Email Security can stop 99% of spam and known viruses from entering mailboxes.
AV for life
Protect your customer’s business with the latest cyber security software such as Bitdefender GravityZone from the Giacom Cloud Market. Regularly renewing their licence is a simple and quick way to prevent insidious malware from accessing employees’ online data.
Invest time in training your staff to be aware of unusual activity both on and offline. Vigilant staff who suspect that certain digital activity could be detrimental to both your business and your customers should report it immediately.
Know your network
Securing their network through the use of robust firewalls and proxies is vital to limiting any damage from a potential cyber attack. Access lists and managing user privileges will help you to keep track of who is using what and when.
Encrypt and go
If your customer’s employees work from remote locations or from home, you will need to agree a secure method of transferring data. Using encrypted emails will make it impossible for the files to be opened if they’re intercepted by an unauthorised body. Similarly, with removable media such as USB sticks, try to avoid storing sensitive information on items that can be easily misplaced or stolen, and password protect them.
Keep monitoring and reviewing the digital security strategy, and consider registering with a government approved initiative, so that you can be responsive to any malicious activity should it occur. Keeping all protective measures up to date will go a long way to ensuring that you are directly preventing cyber attacks to your customer’s businesses online storage, giving you peace of mind.