Whether you are in charge of a large organisation or you own a small startup, cybercrime has reached record heights and the threat of an attack is real. Cybercriminals are incredibly crafty. If there is a sign of weakness within your digital security, an attacker will seek it out. With cunning methods to steal your data, you need to make sure your cyber security leaves little room for attack. Here is a short guide about cyber security and how you can protect your business.
According to the National Crime Agency, cybercrime threatens national security and it costs the United Kingdom billions of pounds each year. Cyberattacks often target companies who hold a lot of personal data and they will try to steal the data using various means. Cybercriminals use devious ways to find weak spots in your digital security and an attack can appear in many different forms.
The most common types of attack include hacking, phishing, malicious software and distributed denial of service attacks against websites. As a business, you and your colleagues need to be cautious of all types of attacks. The most common way in which criminals may try to breach your security is through your staff. Reports show that 72 percent of employees receive fraudulent emails, 33 percent of businesses experience viruses and malware and 17 percent experience ransomware.
Different Types of Cyber Security
To prevent criminals from gaining personal information you can employ different types of cyber security. These include perimeter security, intranet security and human security:
Perimeter security includes spam protection and firewalls, and it is the most basic way you can protect your network. Using these protective means, you can build a barrier, or perimeter, around your network to protect it against external threats.
When the threat tries to infiltrate your network from the inside, intranet security needs to be in place for protection. The threats could appear due to a virus, or malware, uploaded from someone’s USB onto their work computer. Without realising it, employees can unwittingly pick up harmful viruses at home and transfer them to the business network. These types of attacks can be shielded by downloading anti-malware software onto the computers at work. This type of software can prevent known malware from being uploaded. However, if the malware is brand new and unknown, your anti-malware software will not be able to protect your network.
Businesses often succumb to cyberattacks due to human error. Breaches occur when employees are duped by scams, when they choose weak passwords and when they use networks that are not secure. Basic IT training can help your employees understand how cybercrime happens and give them the knowledge of how to protect themselves against an attack.
Cyber Essentials Certification
Cyber Essentials is a scheme that is backed by the government. Essentially, it helps you protect your business against common cyberattacks. You may be asking yourself: what is cyber essentials certification? Achieving a certification in Cyber Essentials gives your customers peace of mind that you’re taking a proactive approach against cybercrime. The certification shows that your company is educated in cyber security and that your staff are trained to keep personal data secure.
Cyber Essentials Badges
You can achieve two types of Cyber Essentials badges: Basic and Plus. The Basic involves individuals taking test questionnaires. Their answers are then checked by certification bodies. The Plus is the highest level of certification, and it includes a third party performing a physical audit of your office to check for certification requirements.
Benefits of Applying for Certification
Besides the status of being certified by a government-backed programme, applying for certification can reassure your customers that their personal data is in safe hands. Customers may also make an active choice to do business with you due to your certified status. With Cyber Essentials certification, you will always know where your company stands in terms of the level of cyber security within your business. Furthermore, certification is a requirement by some government contracts.
How Do I Protect My Business?
For starters, you can approach the IASME consortium to begin the process. You will need evidence that your current IT infrastructure complies with the standards set by the programme; then your knowledge of your software and systems will be assessed.
Cybercrime is ever-evolving and there are many factors to consider. If you feel unsure about where to begin, speak to a professional IT service support provider, who can offer expert advice and can answer your queries about cyber security.