Did you know that:
- One in 10 firms have been the victim of a cyber-attack in the last year
- More than 50% of businesses believe their exposure to a cyber-attack had increased due to staff working from home
- 80% of companies do not have cyber-security accreditations in place
These shocking statistics are from a recent survey carried out by the British Chamber of Commerce and Cisco. Now is the time to protect your business and here are our top 5 tips on how to make your company cyber-secure.
1. Get accredited
Cyber-security accreditation is a government backed scheme called Cyber Essentials, which helps you to protect your organisation against a range of common cyber-attacks. Not only does it offer you protection, but it also gives customers reassurance and opens the door to the potential of new business
2. Back up data
Businesses today are built on data – whether it is customer information, orders, or payment details. Without these, a business would struggle to run. Backing up all your data regularly will ensure you are able to quickly recover in the event of something happening and protect you against ransomware attacks.
3. Install the latest software and app updates
When security issues are discovered, updates are usually issued to solve them. Keeping software and apps up to date is a crucial way to keep yourself protected. These days, updates often happen automatically but only when a device is turned off and back on again. Many employees, especially when working from home, will just put the laptop on sleep mode, which prevents the updates from happening.
4. Use a VPN
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) encrypts data and allows remote users to access IT resources securely, whilst removing serious security risks.
5. Stronger passwords
There is still a tendency to use simple passwords, in fact It is estimated that there are now 23 million people worldwide using the password “123456”. Strengthening passwords is a cost-free way of protecting your organisation.
It’s time to protect yourself
A cyber-attack can be costly for businesses. Not only can it result in downtime, but it can lose you customers, revenue, and your reputation.
For example, last month, The Works had to temporarily close some of their stores due to a cyber-attack, which also caused disruption to the resupply of stock and customer deliveries. And last year, a ransomware attack hit Hackney Borough Council causing major disruption to their services and resulting in their IT systems being down for months.
Cyber-security has been crucial for years. Yet, many businesses are still not protecting themselves against the most common attacks. For those who have not implemented measures, the increasing popularity of hybrid working patterns poses an even higher risk. But protection does not have to be expensive or complex. With a few simple steps, you can protect your business from a cyber-attack, and protect your customers, employees, and reputation at the same time.
Here at the Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce, we support our members with all aspects of their business, including cyber-security measures. If you would like to join us, simply visit https://www.chamber-business.com/become-a-member-of-bedfordshire-chamber-of-commerce and complete the online form. For existing members, we are always on hand to help, support and guide, so call us on 01582 522 448.