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It is a worrying fact that small and medium businesses across the UK aren’t investing enough time and money into IT support against data security breaches, especially as, 4 in 10 businesses last year suffered from a cyber-attack.

Small businesses, especially, assume that they won’t be subject to a crime like cyber-attacks. However, more and more criminals are targeting small businesses because they’re not implementing the correct cyber security.

Without proper IT support, your company could be greatly at risk but there are a few things that your business may want to consider when attempting to limit the probability of a data breach.

Firstly, you need to make sure that the IT support systems within your business are on the look-out, constantly, for any suspicious activity. Businesses are often shocked as to how the virus penetrated their systems. Looking out for red flags is a starting point.

Secondly, employees should be trained to keep a watchful eye out for any emails that could be fraudulent and therefore harmful.

Emails are usually the biggest culprit. These can be disguised as clients’ emails and can carry viruses and/or malware that can infect the business cyber system. Without proper training, an employee may open an attachment on an email which could lead to a data breach. Correct training would allow the employees to effectively deal with these threats and ensures that malware and other viruses do not infiltrate the business’ systems.

Thirdly, strong passwords that are frequently changed and varied across multiple different accounts are vital. The IT support system within your business should make sure that employees are changing their passwords whenever a compromise is suspected, and that they are never written down.  

As simple as it sounds, having strong passwords is a good start for protection against cyber-attacks. Using special characters, along with mixing upper-case and lower-case letters with numbers is best. An easily remembered passphrase combining "random" words and numbers can be an example of a strong password which may not run the risk of being written down in order to be remembered. An example may be SunAntSugar999Bite$  - this would take 552 quadrillion years to crack according to https://howsecureismypassword.net/

Lastly, the IT support team should make sure that all software is updated to the latest version as this will help tackle cyber criminals. This software includes anti-virus software and other security applications.

Frequently updating, where possible, is an effective way to prevent a cyber attack as the computer will guard you against threats. Having the correct and updated security systems is one thing but your IT support should be testing them to make sure they’re working. Testing through vulnerability testing or penetration testing will help the business minimize its chances of having a cyber-attack. This can identify any weaknesses which can then be fixed.

These four points are the basic levels or support your IT support system should be providing and as a business, you should be aware of this and ensure they are giving you that level of service.

At the heart of Capital Network Solutions’ cyber security practice is our engineer-staffed Security Operations Centre (SOC), monitoring customers’ infrastructures 24/7. We have provided advanced cyber security solutions for 25 years, working with the latest technologies from industry leading vendors including Cisco, Barracuda, Sophos and Gemalto stormer. Talk to us today to see how we can help you.

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02 Aug Cyber Security

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