Five top tips for securing your business online

High-profile cyber attacks – such as the one which affected 300,000 devices in 150 countries, including the NHS, in May 2017 – help to focus the minds of all businesses on potential dangers. Here are his five key pieces of advice to help you protect your own organisation.

1.UPDATE YOUR COMPUTER SOFTWARE

The impact of the attack referred to above could have been minimised if the affected systems had been updated with a Microsoft patch. Nevertheless, some of the affected machines were actually using an obsolete version of Windows which couldn’t have been updated. You must make sure you have the latest operating system, as well as the current version of the software your staff use.

  1. TRAIN YOUR STAFF

All staff need to understand the potential risks of attack, as it won’t necessarily be your IT experts who’ll be targeted. It’s just as likely, in fact, to be people working in HR or finance. Very simple measures, such as avoiding clicking on links or opening attachments, can be important.

  1. HAVE EXPERT STAFF ON STANDBY

If someone in your organisation does encounter suspicious activity, it’s vital they have a point of contact they can call to help deal with it. Of course, in a smaller business, you might choose to outsource this support rather than employ an IT specialist in-house.

  1. MAKE SURE EXTERNAL REQUESTS ARE AUTHENTIC

It may be that you receive communications that purport to be from an existing supplier, but are in fact from fraudsters. You need to be 100% sure that any changes to banking details for the payment of invoices are genuine. Go back to the contact details you already hold on file and speak directly to the business in question.

  1. WATCH OUT FOR THE ‘BOGUS BOSS’

In this scam, you may receive an email which appears to be from a colleague or manager requesting that an urgent payment be made. Again, it’s important to establish whether this is genuine by speaking directly to the person concerned.

Remember, the police offer guidance on cyber security at www.actionfraud.police.uk and the Government publishes its own 10-step guide. (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cyber-risk-management-a-board-level-responsibility/10-steps-summary)


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