Cyber stuff sounds complicated. We know this; it’s why so many of our business clients shied away from it before they met us. And it can be. You can easily get lost in a whirlwind of systems, products and jargon, which is important for big businesses, but less helpful when there’s just you. Big businesses have vaults. Small businesses have a padlock. But only foolish ones leave their doors wide open.
3 Top Tips on Cyber Security for SMEs
So we’d like to offer you three top tips on simple things to do to make yourself safer – taking for granted, of course, that you’ve already joined the free of charge cyber resilience centre which the government funds to help you.
i) Check your door locks. The digital ones, that is. Most people know that they should have strong and unique passwords, but most of you don’t. Because your brain is, well, only human. So get a password manager which securely stores all of your unique passwords – many browsers even have them built in nowadays. And then put a second lock in place, using two factor-authentication so that if you’re password is compromised, your account is still secure. If you don’t know how to do this, ask us, or do some internet research.
ii) Train your staff. Most cyber attacks start with so-called ‘phishing’ campaigns, not with desperately complex technical hacking. So your people need to know what to look out for, and – oddly- it’s the younger generation that are often more trusting online. Our centre will regularly update you with what the latest scams look like, but consider also some of the National Cyber Security Centre’s free half hour e-learning to induct new staff. (We can also signpost you to in-person training if you need). And make sure your teams know to ask a manager if they’re ever unsure.
iii) Stay updated. Again, the National Cyber Security Centre has some great guidance on how you do this. Many breaches take place because criminals are randomly exploiting known insecurities. If your software is out of date, then you won’t have applied the fix that might keep them at bay. You also need to consider how your data is being accessed – is someone able to do it from their out-of-date home computer, which may have viruses on, or from a mobile device which is no longer supported? Staying updated can be a bit more expensive, but it’s much safer, and in the long run it’s also a lot cheaper than suffering the breach that could close you down.
Of course, you should also join SWCRC - it's free. Join our community here: www.swcrc.co.uk