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Cyber-crime – it’s no use burying your head in the sand

Cyber-crime is one area of your business that you might not see as a priority. After all, hackers wouldn’t be interested in your systems, would they?

You’d be surprised. Data can change hands for huge sums – information is power. Even if you don’t lose valuable data, a crippled IT system could cost you a fortune. It could effectively shut down your business, stop you trading and lose you customers.

Even though you may think it won’t happen to you, the statistics are frightening. 33% of small businesses and 65% of large businesses reported a cyber breach or attack in the past 12 months.  You simply can’t afford to ignore it.

Act now
Knowing where to begin in the battle against the hackers can be tricky, but crossing your fingers or hoping for the best isn’t going to protect you. Taking action will. The good news is that simple steps can be very effective. Every business should:

  1. Form a cyber-risk management regime
  2. Educate staff
  3. Control removable media
  4. Standardise home and mobile working
  5. Manage user access
  6. Build a secure configuration
  7. Use business malware protection
  8. Secure their networks.

With these controls in place, a business is in a much stronger position and implementing all the steps needn’t be expensive. What’s more, having a planned defence strategy can help to win more business.

Cyber Essentials
The UK Government has introduced a certification scheme – Cyber Essentials – aimed at protecting small and medium-sized businesses from the all-too-prevalent attacks on their IT systems and their customer’s data.

This concept is very effective. Cyber Essentials allows you to demonstrate to your customers, investors, insurers and others that you’ve taken the right steps to reduce your risk of falling victim to cyber-crime and, critically, that you’re keeping your data secure.

More and more businesses, organisations and individuals are looking out for the Cyber Essentials logo. You won’t stand a chance of securing some contracts without it. In fact, it’s been mandatory for some central Government contracts since 2014. It shows that you’re serious and responsible, and, of course, makes a huge difference to your level of risk.

Ongoing protection and support
Looking at cyber protection isn’t a one-off task. The methods used in cyber-crime are always evolving. Defences must be kept up to date and systems monitored. Plans need to be in place to identify and deal effectively with any breaches.

It might seem a huge challenge, but it doesn’t need to be. A planned step-by-step approach and the right support can help you implement a strategy that works today, tomorrow and into our ever-changing future.

However far you’ve got to go with your cyber security, the time to start is now.

For more information about Urban IT Solutions’ step-by-step approach, monitoring and managed IT services, call 0845 363 0404