Protect your business from Cyber Crime

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We’ve partnered with the government’s Cyber Aware campaign to bring you the best advice on how to keep your business, staff, and customers safe online.

Do you keep your premises secure from intruders by locking doors or using security passes?  What about backing-up your data, ensuring your passwords are secure, and downloading updates so your systems are less vulnerable to a cyber attack?

If you feel in the dark when it comes to online security, you’re not alone – in a recent survey, only a third of small businesses said they felt ‘completely prepared’ for a cyber security breach.*

Cyber attacks cost organisations like yours thousands of pounds and cause lengthy periods of disruption. Do you have a plan for what you would do if your customer database was stolen, your website was forced offline, or you couldn’t access your email or business-critical data?

Cyber criminals don’t just attack banks and large companies – they target any organisation which isn’t properly protected, even small businesses – like yours.

The majority of cyber attacks exploit basic weaknesses in your IT systems and software.

HMG’s recent Cyber Security Breaches Survey** showed that just under half (46%) of all UK businesses have suffered at least one cyber security breach or attack in the last 12 months.

Larger companies such as Wonga, Yahoo, and LinkedIn are regularly featured in the media as cyber security cautionary tales. Although you’d expect bigger companies to be the main target for cybercriminals, SMEs – who have significantly less resource – also need to take extra care in their approach to cyber security.

Even a simple virus or piece of malware could result in loss of company and client data, disrupt your cashflow and take up staff time. An attack could also put off your customers, stop you trading and damage your hard-earned reputation; it could even be reported in the local media. Loss of data could put your business in breach of the Data Protection Act and lead to fines or prosecution.

People and businesses alike are not taking the equivalent security precautions online as they do offline, according to research from the government’s cyber security campaign Cyber Aware. While the Crime Survey for England and Wales*** show 82% of households have double locks or deadlocks, when it comes to online security only 35% of individuals and 39% of SMEs follow the latest advice; to create strong passwords by using ‘three random words’. Furthermore, only 52% of individuals and 68% of SMEs download the latest software and app updates as soon as they are available. This is despite the fact that cyber crime was one of 2016’s most common offences, with approximately 2 million incidents.

That’s why npower Business is supporting the Cyber Aware campaign. We’re doing our bit to encourage you to do more to protect your business and customers from cyber crime. Protecting a business from cyber attacks has become as important as ensuring a building is safe from fires. However, being cyber secure doesn’t need to be complicated or time consuming – it’s something everyone can take steps to action.

You might think that software and application updates are purely cosmetic, or give the manufacturer additional opportunities to sell to you, but they actually plug vulnerable security gaps, which could potentially leave hackers with an easy route into your data (and your customers’).

Ensuring your email account is protected by a strong separate password is crucial to protect valuable data and documents. Using three random words to make passwords strong, memorable and secure is another key way to protect yourself and your company. Customer data and confidential financial information are all just one click away for some hackers.

Once you’ve got the basics covered, Cyber Essentials should also be top of your ‘to-do’ list. It’s a government backed and industry-supported ‘standard’, which protects your business against the most common online threats. It sets out five controls, which will significantly reduce your company’s vulnerability to cyber crime, and is suitable for organisations of all sizes and all sectors. Not only will your business be more secure as a result, you will be able to display a badge demonstrating you adhere to a government endorsed standard, giving you a distinct edge over competitors. Find out more at: https://www.cyberaware.gov.uk/cyberessentials/

We’ll be sharing more tips like this as we support Cyber Aware, so keep an eye out for updates to help you get your online security as good as your offline security.

Cyber Aware is a cross government awareness and behaviour change campaign delivered by the Home Office in conjunction with Department of Culture, Media & Sport and the National Cyber Security Centre (a part of GCHQ), and funded by the National Cyber Security Programme in the Cabinet Office. To find out more about how to stay secure online visit www.cyberaware.gov.uk or follow the conversation on Twitter @CyberAwareGov.

 

* Small Business Reputation & the Cyber Risk research commissioned by Cyber Streetwise and KPMG in December 2015

** Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2017 (Department for Culture, Media and Sport & Ipsos Mori)

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/cyber-security-breaches-survey-2017

*** Office of National Statistics 2016: Crime Survey for England and Wales

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/bulletins/crimeinenglandandwales/yearendingdec2016

 

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