Over the past few years, the number of cyber-attacks on businesses and organisations has grown exponentially. As reliance on technology in the workplace has increased, so has the risk from attackers who are getting smarter by the day. In this article we look at 5 ways in which businesses could be at an increased risk to cyber-attack and suggest ways in which they can become better prepared.
You might think that budgeting for new computer hardware and infrastructure can be a real drain on resources, but holding off on updating kit can be a false economy. Running software and operating systems that are ‘end of life’ or no longer receiving security updates can leave your systems (and in turn your business) exposed and vulnerable to attack. Keeping your equipment and software up to date allows a business to take advantage of updates released specifically to deal with the latest forms of cyber-attack.
Due to the current pandemic many of us are working from home and in many cases are using our own laptops, tablets and wireless networks. Whilst this can be seen as cost-effective and better for the environment, it brings with it certain risks. Connections made from home to business networks expose an organisations data to the outside world as well as the credentials needed to access that data. A working from home policy which covers employee conduct and security responsibilities, along with robusts security/access systems is essential.
Sadly it needs repeating time and again, but it is essential for businesses to have a robust and reliable backup system for data and digital assets of all types. Many cyber attacks rely on the fact that businesses to not have up to date backups of their data, and will use the urgent need to retrieve that data to make financially crippling demands on the targeted business. Cyber attacks aside, a backup and restore policy is essential for all types of business to deal with unexpected events including equipment failures, natural disasters and employee negligence.
Staff can be a major factor in both protecting and exposing an organisation to cyber threats. Identifying organisational best practice and regular staff training is essential to keep staff aware of potential risks and how to react. Being ‘trigger happy’ when it comes to links or attachments can cause all sorts of problems (especially Phishing emails), so keeping staff aware of potential risks and providing cyber security training is essential to effectively manage risk.
Strategy & Planning
Organisations need to consider cyber security risks at leadership and management level. Strategies need to devised in order for a business to continually assess their readiness for cyber-attack, current trends in cyber-attack, and how staff and technology can be effectively utilised to minimise risk. There also needs to be a recovery plan which lists the actions and processes required to respond to a cyber attack when it happens.
As an experienced IT Managed Services provider, Information Solutions can help organisation of all sizes effectively manage the risks from cyber-attack. Our team of IT Experts can help you to develop effective technical and procedural measures to minimise risk to your data and to your business.