Theft has been around as long as humans, but thefts now are more likely to come via computer code, somewhere far from the target, with the target’s funds or valuable data flying out over the internet.
Cybercrime is estimated to have cost British companies up to £1bn in the past 12 months, according to the Office for National Statistics. The Institute of Directors (IoD) found that 44% of SMEs had been hit by a cyberattack at least once in the past year, costing each business around £25,000 on average.
With the right habits, you can significantly reduce the risks your business faces.
Make staff aware
“Human errors make up 95pc of cybersecurity incidents,” says Peter Erceg, of global cyber and technology at insurance broker Lockton. One infamous global attack, WannaCry, in May 2017 affected businesses and organisations, including the NHS, in more than 150 countries.
Training staff properly in cybersecurity is therefore a vital first line of defence for every business, regardless of how hi-tech its products or services may appear.
Staff and particularly business leaders who may receive unsolicited external emails regularly should be made aware of common phishing scams and how to respond if they become aware of a potential or actual cyberattack.
Security software is essential whether you are a sole trader or a multinational corporation. Antivirus and firewall software are fundamental safeguards to secure internet connections and create a buffer between your network and the internet.
Other defence basics include password protection protocols such as two-factor authentication that sends a password code by text to a user’s phone.
Be organised with regards to system patches, as these periodic updates sent by software companies often include fixes for security weaknesses that have been identified.
Secure data back-ups are also vital, in case an attack does does get through and cause problems. The hard truth is that the sheer scale of the cyber-threat means that it is a case of when, not if, you are attacked.
Cyberattacks may still get through, even with preventive measures. But it is possible to minimise harm, particularly if you can spot the tell-tale signs of an attack underway. These include repeated login attempts, suspicious files appearing, leakage of customer details or unexplained changes on your website.
Anything that would be unusual in real life should also raise the alarm online. “Look out for customers changing bank details more regularly,” says Mr Erceg, who suggests that any unusual behaviour merits a closer look. Customers may be moving accounts, but perhaps their details are being changed by a third party who wants to defraud them or the business.
From our offices in Liverpool, Resman IT work with clients of all sizes, from a couple of laptops to international businesses. The golden thread that runs through all our solutions is resilience, customer service, security and cost effectiveness. For more information visit our website at www.resman.co.uk, or call us at any time.