Proactive Cyber Security Measures for Surrey Businesses

Serious Cyber Security: Proactive Measures for Surrey Businesses

In a world where data is the modern currency and where the lion’s share of business dealings and administration is conducted or stored online, it is imperative that businesses who require IT support in Surrey and everywhere else take steps to remain secure. Personal client information such as identification, banking details, home addresses, and business information that could be used by competitors to steal customers or to extract ransom payments from your business are often stored online and thus are vulnerable to attack by skilled hackers and cybercriminals. All of this information and more is stored in the cloud or on hard drives on your company’s computers, which should be guarded by a number of cyber security protocols to keep it safe.

Though many skilled and savvy business owners know that these protocols are all that stand between them and their customers and a potential disaster, it can be an overwhelming task to take on if your primary area of skill is not cyber security. To avoid sleepless nights worrying about your online security and getting that dreaded call that tells you “We’ve been hacked”, take proactive measures to secure your business. We have a few pieces of advice that will steer you in the right direction.

Benefits of Proactive Security

To be proactive means to take steps before a threat makes itself known: to go on the offensive before defence is required. Anticipate any potential threats to your Surrey-based business, think of problems that may arise, and prepare accordingly. Instead of handling the consequences of breaches or attacks when they happen, do everything that you can to prevent them from happening in the first place.

Taking a proactive stance in your approach to cyber security means managing the activities and tasks that are carried out on a regular daily or weekly basis, which keeps all holes patched and all vulnerabilities monitored at all times. There are a number of cyber essentials that savvy business owners should employ to keep their data safe at all times.

  • Penetration testing: Hire freelance white hat hackers (these are essentially the “good guys” who work within the boundaries of the law) to probe and test the measures you have in place for weaknesses.
  • Threat hunting: As the name implies, the goal of this activity is to find any threats that may be lurking unseen. Cyber security professionals use threat indicators and intelligence to form a hunt plan and make their way through your systems one by one.
    Security awareness training. An enormous percentage of security breaches come from employees opening unsavoury emails and clicking on links that allow malware into your company’s system. Training your employees on what to look out for and what your protocols entail will minimise this threat.
  • Proactive network and endpoint monitoring: Constant testing for all manner of threats from within your company’s IT team.
  • Security patch management: Your IT team must ensure that they are constantly checking for and implementing updates to all of your security software, applications, and systems.
  • User and entity behaviour analytics: UEBA tracks and identifies any unsafe activity carried out by all network users using a baseline for what would be considered typical behaviour.

 

 

Implementation Strategies

There are a number of practical implementation strategies for cyber security Surrey which can assist business owners to begin their proactive stance against cyber security threats.

  • Begin by conducting a risk assessment. Identify all the assets in your organisation and prioritise them by order of importance. This way, you can begin by securing the most important assets first and then moving on to the rest.
  • Develop a workable cyber security policy to be followed at all times. Include a basic outline, data handling procedures, employee behaviour, and a set of protocols for responding to each kind of security threat that may arise. 
  • Implement the use of multi-factor authentication for any client or employee who needs to access your data. This could include passwords, tokens, or a text or email sent to their device. 
  • Implement network monitoring tools. These can be bought as packages from well-known cyber security companies which include things like intrusion detection and antivirus scans.
  • Ensure that all of your data is backed up regularly, both on-site and in a safe location in the cloud or elsewhere.
  • Hire the right people. IT experts exist so that the other employees in your business do not have to operate outside the areas in which they are skilled. A professional IT team or person will see risks others will not and understand the details of the hardware and software your business owns.

 

Employee Training

Employee training is an essential part of maintaining a strong defence and offence against all cyber security threats, as mentioned above. Even though they are not hired as IT professionals, there are basics that all employees must be helped to understand and master to ensure the safety of their data at all times.

Offer all of the insight and advice that employees could need as they must understand how your systems work and be aware that failing to follow protocol will result in them having to take accountability for the outcomes. Ensure that authorisation applications are installed on all the relevant employee’s devices and that they understand how to operate this software. 

As mentioned previously, emails are often a soft spot in an employee’s cyber security defences. Show employees what phishing or malware emails may look like and have a plan of action in place should they receive them.

 

Regular Assessments

One of the most essential aspects of remaining proactive is to ensure that security checks are regular rather than sporadic. Only regular assessments, threat checks, and the like can maintain your protection and keep you a step ahead of criminals.

 

Incident Response

Though remaining proactive is the goal, having an incident response plan in place is entirely necessary to mitigate any threats that may slip through the net. A good incident response plan includes the following steps:

  • Identification of the breach or issue.
  • Containment and isolation of the threat so that it creates no further damage.
  • Eradication of the threat from the entire network and all devices.
  • Recovery of any possible data and restoration of your network to the status quo.
  • The last step, not to be neglected, is to analyse the incident and take any lessons from it so that it might not be repeated.

 

Stay Proactive

Keeping all of these points in mind will allow you to sleep well at night knowing that you have a plan, and a backup plan should that plan somehow fail. If your proactive security measures line up with all of these points, your employees and clients will feel safe in the knowledge that their data is well-guarded



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