cyber security for SMEs: the dos and don’ts

Most companies now use the internet to do business. It’s a fantastic way to sell, communicate and grow. But it also poses a number of risks.

Especially to small businesses, that increasingly find themselves the target of hackers, hoping to steal company data. In 2015, Government Security Breaches Survey found that 74% of small organisations reported a security breach in the last year.

But keeping your small business safe online can be quite simple…

Here are a few basic dos and don’ts.

do take advantage of help available

The Cyber Streetwise campaign, for example, provides free, simple advice to help you and your business stay safe online.

don’t think you’re not at risk

Hackers target all sizes of business but most online attacks can be prevented or detected with basic security measures for your staff, processes and IT systems. Spend a bit of time evaluating your business and any areas which might need extra support to become safe online.

do get clued up

Know the facts about cyber security and research what training sessions are available to you. The Open University runs free introductory courses to cyber security – with the next online course starting on April 4th.

don’t ignore software updates

They often contain important security updates to keep your data safe. If you don’t keep on top of these updates, hackers will find it much easier to steal your information, and potentially cause serious harm to your business.

do train your staff

Make sure everyone thinks carefully about secure passwords, ‘suspicious’ looking emails and what they do online. Courses such as “Responsible for Information” might be a good fit for your business. It’s an information security training course for owners, managers and staff in SMEs.

don’t forget about cloud based security

Invest in the best tech barriers you can afford for your business. Small businesses may opt for, and benefit from cloud based security because it doesn’t need big IT or security teams to set it up, but it still does the job.

do report cyber-crime

If your business is attacked, report it to Action Fraud - the UK’s National Reporting Centre for fraud and internet crime.

don’t shy away from using the internet

Although there are risks (that might sound pretty scary), the internet is an incredible tool to help build your business, no matter what its size. So as long as you’re in the know and vigilant, there’s no need to panic.

Make the most of what’s out there!

These are suggestions gathered from across the web. If you have any concerns about online security you should consult an expert.

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