How smaller businesses can tackle cyber security

Small to medium sized businesses have a lot to contend with: spiralling start-up costs, marketing, larger competitors, and many other factors.

However, businesses cannot afford to neglect cyber security, because a successful attack can prove so damaging to your reputation that you may never recover.

In 2014, 60 per cent of small businesses in the UK experienced some form of cyber breach, highlighting the importance of factoring in security from the outset. Fortunately, staying on top of the many security risks that are out there, does not require a huge financial outlay.

One of the best ways to tackle cyber security is to get the basics right. Are apps and devices, particularly web-based ones, protected with secure passwords? Do you have anti-virus software in place and is software fully updated?

Part of the solution to cyber threats is more human than technical, and small businesses are sure to benefit from a clearly conveyed security policy and IT terms of use. Encourage your employees to use the Internet responsibly, make sure network access is monitored and if a BYOD policy is being implemented, staff must be aware who has ownership of company data. Staff training, therefore, is a great way of improving your company’s ability to withstand a cyberattack.

Similarly, businesses should take a risk management approach to protect their assets. Assess which resources are critical to your business and what legal requirements they are subject to. Then implement the appropriate security measure, but crucially, review these measures on a regular basis to safeguard against new threats.

Unfortunately there’s no way of being completely protected from present-day or future cyber threats, but there are effective security measures available for small and large businesses alike.

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