How SMEs can improve their cyber-security

According to the UK Government’s ‘Cyber Breaches Survey 2019’, 31 per cent of micro and small businesses and 60 per cent of medium-sized businesses have experienced a cyber-attack in the past twelve months.

Subsequently, 92 per cent of medium-sized businesses and 78 per cent of micro and small businesses have set cyber-security as a high priority.

Below are a few tips to help improve your cyber-security:

Remember physical security

Remembering simple things such as locking your office and not leaving your laptop unattended in public are essential, but businesses should also ensure that important documents are shredded before being binned.

Simply throwing away private information about your company can open you up to phishing attacks, whereby an adversary uses privileged information to trick you into clicking on a malicious link, parting with money, or worse.

Use a password manager and 2FA

LogMeIn and LastPass reported that 59 per cent of employees haven’t changed their passwords in the last twelve months, while nearly six in 10 reuse the same password across multiple accounts.

A strong, unique password can be obtained by using free password managers and two-factor authentications (2FA).

Train employees on basic cyber-security

To help your company avoid phishing, encourage employees not to click on suspicious links, and instead to forward them to the IT department.

One way to train employees would be to send out a harmless phishing email and reward those who correctly identify them and forward them onto your IT team.

Access on a needs basis

It is worthwhile reviewing who has access to what documents and possibly restricting it. You should only share privileges with those who need access to the confidential records or data.

Take advantage of free software

SMEs should take advantage of the free antivirus applications that are easily available on the internet. However, SMEs should carefully research which tool is right for their business, and be careful not to download one of the numerous scams purporting to be genuine antivirus.

Ultimately, security issues can be avoided by good cyber hygiene. So, let your employees know what they can do, take care of your organisation’s structural issues, and sort out the basics, and you will dramatically improve your security posture.

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