Cyber Security

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The Cyber Security Basics You Should be Covering Now

Achieving full protection when it comes to cyber security risks can seem daunting for even the smallest of businesses. Even if you can’t access the huge budgets that big corporations have at their disposal, there are some basic solutions you can put in place to protect your business.

5 Cyber Security Basics You Can Implement Relatively Cheaply

Even if you are a small or medium-size business with a very limited budget, there are a number of solutions which need to be implemented with relative immediacy.

1. Understand What Assets Are At Risk

We use a wide range of devices to access software and the internet nowadays. You might use a desktop in the office, a laptop at a local café or a smartphone or tablet while on the move. Software and data is no longer placed on a protected server within the organisation but can be accessed from anywhere in the world via the cloud.

Our assets when it comes to cyber security are more wide-ranging and, in some cases, can seem quite nebulous, than ever before. They are all, however, vital to daily operations and need to be protected. It’s important to know what you use and how it might affect your online security.

That means carrying out a regular inventory:

  • What hardware such as desktops, laptops and smartphones do you have?
  • If you use remote workers to support your business, how are you connecting to them and protecting data?
  • What remote or local servers are you using?
  • What cloud services are you and your staff employing?
  • What virtual machines are you using? What software?

This inventory gives you the basis for understanding your cyber security risks and needs. For example, you may allow BYOD in your business which can present specific challenges when you incorporate your software and data sharing onto someone’s private device.

2. Fill in the Gaps

Once you do an inventory, the likelihood is that you will spot areas where your security isn’t covering your business as you might like. This can happen for a variety of different reasons:

  • You may not have implemented a cyber security solution in the first place.
  • There might have been a solution, but it was turned off by someone using the software.
  • You might already have been the victim of a malware attack that turned the security measure off.

Once you know where the problems lie, you have the chance to put things right and repair your system so that it works more effectively.

The more assets that you use in your business, the more complicated it can be to address all the issues, especially if you are short of time. That may mean outsourcing your IT to a third party who can ensure the gaps are plugged, allowing you and your teams to focus on the business. The key here is that plugging the gaps in your security should be a priority.

3. Auditing Permissions

Who has access to the vital parts of your business? Most companies will limit permissions depending on what job someone does and their position within the organisational structure. These are often not monitored closely enough which means that the potential for a cyber security breach increases. For instance, if someone gives another person their password to access important information, it is putting your business at risk.

It’s also important to check things like user passwords and how these are managed:

  • Are they robust and are they changed at regular intervals?
  • Do some people have access to more areas in your business than they really need?
  • Are there old accounts still operational even though staff have left the business?

Checking permissions on a regular basis is important and will ensure that everyone has the right access and security is kept intact.

4. Developing a Cyber Security Policy and Implementing It

It’s important also to have a cyber security policy for your business, even if you are an SME. The purpose of this is to provide the framework on which all your company security works.

It should include clear guidelines on how employees should behave online, how they use your data and software, who is responsible for ensuring compliance, and what you need to do in the event of a breach.

Even if you do have a cyber security policy in place, it’s vital to ensure that this is being implemented properly. That means having a regular audit to check processes are being adhered to and any changes that need to be made are actually being made and recorded.

For example:

  • You may have run a training session to make staff aware of your cyber security policy and what is expected of them. But have you onboarded new employees properly? Do you need to provide a refresher session?
  • Is the person who is responsible for implementing certain parts of your cyber security policy doing it properly? Do they need further training, or do you need to change personnel?
  • Are there things that need to be added to your cyber security policy following changes in the operation of your business?

5. Embrace Automation

Finally, it’s important as much as possible that you don’t leave your cyber security at the mercy of human error. That includes making sure you have automatic updates and patch downloads for devices rather than waiting for employees to do it themselves. Automation not only reduces human error it can save time and money as well.

When you undertake your audit, do it with a mind of looking for areas where you can include automation.

Cyber security is most certainly a big challenge to businesses, particularly SMEs. These small steps should help tighten up and streamline your current posture and keep you safer online.

If you’d like to find out how a fully managed, tailored IT support service can benefit your business, contact the team at Cyan Solutions today.

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