IT is vital for any business and data is your organisation’s most valuable asset – to sell your products/services, understand your markets, identifying new opportunities and people to join your business as well as carry out confidential and financial transactions. As business communications and services increase over the Internet, the risk of a breach impacting your organisation is growing on a daily basis. The growth of cyber attacks over the last two years has significantly increased in frequency and complexity. Common types of attacks being faced include malware, phishing and password hacking.
Mitigating the risk of any of these types of attacks doesn’t mean that you should exclude new and innovative solutions from your growth plans. Many of these can bring cost effective options to the SME market, delivering greater collaboration, automation and improved functionality.
Plan – Implement – Review
Instead, it is important to understand any vulnerabilities you may have in your IT, prioritise and implement the fixes and then regularly review and manage these to ensure you are as secure as possible.
Whilst you can’t anticipate an attacker’s moves every time, you can make it harder for them to penetrate your IT systems. There are three key components you need to address when reviewing your IT security:
The types of online tactics that are being used today continue to evolve. Focusing purely on technology barriers is dangerous, businesses also need to address legislation and at the same time and make sure employees are aware of the latest scams.
Legislation is becoming stricter on businesses that aren’t taking the epidemic problem of cyber crime seriously. After being agreed in December 2015, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is coming into effect in 2018. The severity of ramifications are relative to the seriousness of the issues being faced, and businesses will risk severe financial penalties and face reputational damage if they suffer a breach having not complied to the obligations permitted by the GDPR.
Organisations face fines of up to 4% of global turnover as well as having to notify all clients and suppliers of the breach and data lost. Without fully understanding the changes you will need to make, it has been advised that businesses should not wait until the last minute to implement the necessary changes to the systems and operations within the company. The framework focuses on how businesses collect and use personal information – ultimately, to understand how secure it is. It is highly likely that you will need to adopt new behaviours in the business and this can take time internally to become a natural way of working.
Businesses have to genuinely adopt this governance and accountability standards not pay lip service to data privacy obligations, as businesses will be expected to be able to demonstrate how they comply with the GDPR.
Do your employees understand what to look out for and what to do if they do open an email or document that infects their device and potentially, your whole IT network? Alongside firewalls and anti-virus software, your employees are instrumental in your defence against an attack. Security experts are supporting businesses through the provision of staff security awareness training. This can be delivered in a number of ways such as classroom style training sessions, security awareness portals, regular helpful hints and security updates via e-mail, or even posters. By including this in your security plans, you help to ensure your employees have a clear understanding of the company security policy, procedures and best practices.
Hackers are upping their game, but so is the IT market in protecting you. From a technology perspective, software providers are continually developing their software and generating more options and greater flexibility to businesses.
The IT market is also growing in IT providers that have experienced security engineers to help you not only implement and manage your security plans, but also recover in the event of an attack.
Security as a Service
Security is now a full time function that many businesses don’t have the time or dedicated resource to deliver it. At Assign-IT, we provide the complete portfolio of security support solutions and can tailor our services to best support your business.
We make recommendations, implement and manage solutions such as intrusion detection systems and firewalls to provide protection against malware, viruses and targeted attacks so you can be sure that your IT infrastructure is best protected against any disruption.
We deliver employee training to help build awareness in the work place so they know what to look out for and what to do if they come across something suspicious so the problem is handled as efficiently as possible.
Firstly, we recommend a security assessment to clearly document what you currently have in place which deliver a findings report highlighting the areas you need to improve.
Don’t let others steal your information, demand money from you or disrupt your business – get the basics of IT security right.