small business information security

‘I’m too small to be a target’ must be one of the most common phrases we hear when talking to companies about cyber attacks and data breaches.  It’s understandable when the media is quick to broadcast news of large scale computer virus or Ransomware attacks on well-known businesses.  The reality is quite different. Statistics from Small Business Trends shows that 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses, with just 14% being effective at mitigating attacks and sadly 60% of small companies go out of business within six months of a cyber attack.

It’s tough for small businesses with limited funds and resources to prioritise investment in information security above other demands but the risk of a cyber attack, virus or malware is now so much greater than ever before.  If your business handles sensitive, personal or confidential information then you are a potential target.  A breach or leak of your data could cause irreparable harm to your reputation and the loss of confidence could bring the organisation down. In truth, every business holds a quantity of confidential information on employees, suppliers and customers so all are at risk.

Many smaller enterprises do not have IT support on hand to advise or manage cyber security.  Your computers and devices could be out dated and whilst Anti-Virus and Firewalls may be in place, these are not now sufficient to identify and stop the latest generation of cyber attacks.  It’s now so important to Encrypt and Back-up data. With so many companies allowing employees to use personal phones and mobile devices at work and connecting to the network, the opportunity for malware to gain entry through phishing emails, unauthorised web site access and risky third-party apps is very significant.

As an independent adviser, we are often asked for help from organisations on what steps they should take to help keep their networks safe, so here are half a dozen key AVR tips:

  1. Make sure you always update your software on all devices when advised
  2. Ensure your anti-virus and firewall software is still right for your organisation as it is now
  3. Give your staff a list of Do’s & Don’ts on using devices, managing data and dealing with email
  4. Make sure your data is secure, you know where it is on the network and who has access to it
  5. Consider getting a Pen (Penetration) Test conducted to identify the vulnerable areas in your network
  6. Look at a Managed Protection Service which will monitor and control your cyber security, stopping and dealing with attacks automatically

Feel free to call us on 01189 344 300 or email AVR for help, advice or a brief chat on any issues or concerns on any aspect of IT security or using mobile devices within your business.  We’re happy to help, there’s no obligation or pressure to buy anything. If it’s easier, just complete and send the form below and we will contact you.

Finally, please don’t ignore your cyber security!  There are easy ways of managing it and it doesn’t need to cost a fortune.  Don’t be one of the 60% of businesses that go bust because they believed they were too small!

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