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Staying Ahead of the Game with CIS – Seven Critical Tips to Keep Your Business Secure

How clued up on cyber security is your business? On average, cybercrime already costs UK organisations £3000 per year, making cyber knowledge a must-have for your team. Luckily, updating your files and folders to avoid potential cyber-attacks does not have to be a chore.

Read on for our tips and tricks to keep your business under lock and key from the hackers.

1. Stay wary of Email Attachments
Did you know the most significant cyber threat to your business is email phishing? When an unexpected email attachment drops into your inbox, it’s important to take a minute to question why you have received it, even from people you know. Within these attachments are malicious programs or links to compromise your security.

Scanning all incoming and outgoing emails for known viruses and taking extra precautions when you receive attachments will help you avoid the enormous financial repercussions of a data breach.

2. Making use of complex passwords and free multi-factor technology
It’s one of the simplest steps in the cyber security book, but how often do you update passwords across your personal and work devices? The strongest passwords are upwards of 12 characters and contain a combination of letters and numbers.

Most online systems now offer or require multi-factor authentication where you put in a regularly changing generated number from your smartphone along with a password. If your bank or other sensitive systems (and email these days) does not offer this – often it is free – you need to ask why and look to have that function activated. The extra effort exponentially improves your chances of avoiding fraud.

Regularly updating your passwords and making sure you don’t use the same password for any of your apps or programs will help to close the door on potential hackers for good.

3. Oversharing your social media
One threat to your business’s security comes from your team knowingly or unknowingly, giving useful information to Hackers. Social media platforms are now commonly used as a way of picking up nuggets of information about key staff and their activities.

This information is then used in emails to impersonate senior staff by giving instructions for payments and secure access to data. This is very convincing and hard to spot because it is using credible information that would look tight.

Checking in with your employees to make sure they know the risks of putting this information online will make sure your business’s data is protected from all angles.

4. Staying one step ahead with IT Automated Cyber Checks
Technology can now be used to counter cyber criminals intelligently. Cyber hackers peak their activities from early evening and over weekends when their work could go mostly undetected.

Fully Automated 24×7 security sweeps by IT appliances like CIS: Cybot makes sure that even the latest digital threats can’t slip past your defences un-noticed and actioned. See our blog about CIS: Cybot on our website to find out more.

5. Backing up your files and testing
Storing your data files in a secure remote location is the single most effective way you can get your business back up and running in the event the worst should happen.

If your original information is lost, a thorough backup strategy will make sure your systems can be quickly restored, with as little fuss as possible.

You must have a regular planned test that proves that the system can restore your critical information in an acceptable time frame.

6. Raising awareness of potential threats
One of the most critical elements of keeping your workplace secure is training your team to recognise the signs of cyber-attack.

Especially if your workplace is beginning to embrace flexible working trends like working from home, making sure your team know what to look out for when it comes to cybercrime will save you the cost and hassle of a hacker working its way into your business.

If you need a hand keeping your team in the know, speak to CIS for a free assessment to make sure no cyber-attacks slip through the cracks.

7. Preparing for Microsoft Windows 7/Server 2008 end of life
Are you prepared for Microsoft Windows 7 End of Life in Jan 2020 – a little over four months away? If your systems still operate using Windows 7 or Windows 2008 Server software, it’s time to action updating your devices to make sure you can always keep your systems secure and working.

Once the deadline arrives, Microsoft and other software systems will no longer issue security updates to protect your computers, leaving you and your business’s devices more open to cyber attackers lying in wait.

Keeping your files and folders secure is vital to your business’s longevity. Here at CIS, we’re continually working towards the most advanced cyber security measures to keep your business safe and sound.

To find out some more about how we can help your business stay secure and operational, please visit our website.