In today’s digital world of business, cyber security is absolutely essential. Unfortunately, between 2019-20, almost half of UK businesses (46%) and a quarter of charities (26%) reported having cyber security breaches or attacks, suggesting more measures need to be put in place to protect confidential data and prevent cybercriminals who set out to extort money. Fortunately, there are a number of steps a business can take to improve their cyber security.
Why is Cyber Security Important?
Cyber security is more important now than ever with more and more businesses going digital and with the introduction of data laws such as the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) which states that organisations must implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to protect personal data, regularly review controls and investigate and report breaches.
Criminals are also becoming more and more tech savvy, and use their skills to access, change or destroy confidential and sensitive information whilst others attempt to extort money.
How Can I Improve My Business' Cyber Security?
Strong passwords are crucial for defending against cyber attacks but many people fail to set effective passwords, making themselves vulnerable to cyber attacks.
The most common passwords in 2020 were:
These passwords are incredibly easy to guess and give hackers access to your data in a matter of seconds. In order to make your password more robust, it should contain a combination of the following:
- Alphabet characters (a-z)
- Numeric characters (0-9)
- Special characters (# ! % ? * etc...)
Password Dos and Don’ts
- DO pick a password you can remember so you don’t have to write it down
- DO change your password as regularly as every 60-90 days
- DO use a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters
- DON’T include part or all of your username, first name or last name.
- DON’T include your favourite hobby (these are common passwords)
- DON’T include obvious words such as names, birthdays, pet names or cars.
- DON’T share your password
- DON’T use alphabetic or numerical sequences (abc..., 123...)
It is worth using ‘passphrases’ instead of passwords. These tend to be a minimum of 16 characters long and are less predictable than short passwords.
Computers and other devices are constantly developing software updates to fix bugs and improve security. Whilst it’s easy to dismiss update requests and notifications, software such as Adobe, Java, anti-ransomware and anti-malware should be updated regularly to ensure your computer is defended against the latest hacking techniques.
A firewall is a computer network security system that restricts the internet traffic in, out and within a private network. Firewalls are important because a network without protection is vulnerable to harmful web traffic, so blocking suspicious intrusion is the first step to protecting your network.
Educate Employees on Spam Emails
A large percentage of cyber attacks originate from phishing and spear phishing emails. Phishing emails are usually sent to a large number of recipients designed to look like an official email by well known companies. They include messages and links which get the recipient to click e.g. “Your delivery has been delayed, click here for details”.
The link usually leads to a fake website where you’re asked to enter your personal details such as names, addresses, usernames and passwords which is then sold on the black market or used for fraud/identity theft. Alternatively, the link will automatically download malware onto the device.
Spear phishing emails are usually more personable and sent to fewer recipients in order to get a response. They usually attempt to communicate with the recipient with the aim of either infecting their device with malware or tricking them into sending money.
They usually target vulnerable and unsuspecting victims whilst purporting to be a trusted sender and use information they have gathered about them to appear more believable e.g. The victim may have Tweeted about booking a holiday to Portugal. With this information the criminal may pretend to be the airline company asking for more money for ‘early seat booking’.
By educating your employees about phishing emails, you can reduce the risk of attacks on your business. Make sure to make staff aware of what phishing is, the different types of phishing attacks, the risks it poses to individuals and the company and the steps to take when identifying an attack.
Implementing Cyber Security
As cyber threats evolve, organisations often don’t have the time, expertise or resources to evaluate their defences in a holistic manner in order to maintain an effective IT security environment. Fortunately, DMS has the solution for you.
At DMS, we can take care of all your cyber security needs. Our Cyber Security Health Check will provide your organisation with a professional assessment detailing the maturity of your security posture. Depending on your scope of requirements, a DMS Healthcheck can be a combination of technical, logical, process-related and physical inspection services, including interviewing of key personnel on both focussed and broad reaching aspects of information security covering 400+ security controls against Cyber Security Essentials Plus, CIS Standards, ISF Standard of Good Practice and ISO27001.
Did you know that the inconspicuous photocopier sitting in the corner of your office could be a data security issue? Not only can we protect your computers, but we have a set of security features to keep your printers and copiers secure.
If your multifunctional device is from DMS, our team of experienced product trained data security technicians can securely protect your MFD/printing device. This can be done on your premises or prior to delivery. Once DMS SECURE safeguards are in place, you can be sure your print data will enjoy uncompromising security protection. Your multifunctional device and its hard drive (HDD) will be protected to ensure your data is more than just secure – they’ll be DMS SECURE.
Get Secure with DMS
If you have any concerns about your business’ cyber security, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team at DMS today to discuss the solution that is right for you.