In 2021/22, more than 80% of UK Organisations experienced a successful cyber attack. This abrupt and startling statistic speaks volumes of the threat that cyber criminals pose to SMEs across the country. Despite the realities that cyber-crime poses, SMEs can take steps to reduce their vulnerability and the potential impact of an attack. Fortunately there are effective and affordable ways to reduce your organisations exposure and some of these ways are discussed below:
One of the easiest ways to prevent a cyber attack is to ensure your staff are aware of what a cyber attack is and how to spot it. Educating staff on how to be vigilant when assessing an email’s legitimacy is critical when preventing a cyber-attack via phishing. A phishing email can take the form of a fake domain that mimics an organisation which encourages the recipient to interact with it. However, staff training also extends to facilitating their ability to understand how to recognise a fake website, or a fake web link. In this scenario, clicking a link can not only cause staff to be lured into submitting business-sensitive details but it can also prompt the forced download of malware which can take many forms, all of which can be devastating to organisational security.
Hacking of systems, including social media and email accounts, can be incredibly damaging and lead to a leakage of sensitive customer data. Ensuring that passwords are changed regularly, are not generic and stored securely is key to preventing a hacker easily obtaining access to your system. Passwords should not be replicated and if they are this can allow a hacker to access a wider range of sensitive data as opposed to limited access. Hacks can often result from a successful phishing email, hence ensuring that passwords are secure is critically important in denying cyber criminals access.
A basic and simple method that many organisations neglect is simply to update their software. This could be your operating system, cloud-based storage or any other software you may employ. Technology companies routinely update their products to ensure they contain the latest security tools and not updating to the latest version your provider offers can invalidate any previous security controls that may be in place. Staying on top of this is important in developing a further layer of defence to make life harder for those wishing to commit crime.
It should be noted that the above tips do not represent all the steps your company should be taking to prevent cyber crime and with the world of business becoming ever more digitised, the threat is more pertinent than every before. WA Management offer online training which can help develop your staff’s knowledge of cyber threats and how to prevent one – save on these courses for this month only, see the details below. We also offer help with cyber security policies, achieving Cyber Essentials certification, and implementing ISO 27001 Data Security management systems!
Cyber Security, Internet, Email & Social Media, and Phishing Awareness training courses are essential tools in protecting your organisation from digital threats. Make sure you don’t miss out on our 10% off deal on these courses, available until the end of December. Simply enter the code ‘cyber10’ at checkout to save!
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