SecuritySecurity Management

A Short Guide To Cyber-Attacks For SMBs

How can your business protect itself from attack? Here are some top tips from Towergate Insurance

Businesses in the 21st Century are almost certainly reliant in one way or another on the internet for smooth operations. What happens when your business comes under threat from a cyber-attack? A cyber-attack can mean it’s no longer business as usual as vital data comes under threat. A recent infographic from Towergate Insurance highlights these current issues.

Cyber-attacks occur when an alien source infiltrates your computer networks and security systems giving unwanted parties access to information. That information could be data on staff members, your company’s bank details or even worse, your customers’ financial details.

Why is an understanding of cyber-attacks important to SMBs?

Nowadays it is a fundamental part of going into business that you understand the threats to your security. In fact those businesses who do not adequately protect themselves and their customers from cyber-attacks could be in breach of data protection regulations. Loss to the business may not be restricted to the information stolen by cyber criminals but also from fines imposed as a result of poor security.

What types of cyber-attack are there?

cyber attacksAttacks can take many forms. Phishing for example takes place when an employee opens an email which contains spyware or a harmful virus. The use of an email which could look like any normal business correspondence acts like a ‘Trojan Horse’ allowing a seemingly innocent source to access your systems. Ransomware attacks take place when malicious software takes over your computer and requests payment in order to be decrypted. Then there is water holing which compromises legitimate websites injecting malicious code which attacks visitors to the site and infiltrates their systems.

And it’s not just small businesses that are affected

The problem isn’t just restricted to small businesses either. In October this year two 16 year olds were arrested following a hack into the systems of Talk Talk which resulted in the theft of bank details of over 1.2m customers.

How do you prevent cyber-attacks?

Having an understanding of how to deal with cyber-attacks is imperative for any businesses these days. The vast majority of all attacks come as a result of human error as opposed to issues with technology.

Some of our top tips to prevent infection from cyber-attacks include:

  • Ensure staff keep on top of passwords. Make sure that passwords are complex; don’t make it easy to guess words and change them regularly.
  • Do not open potentially harmful emails. Only open emails from recognised sources. If you suspect foul play then do not open.
  • Restrict employees from using their own devices to access work based information. If you are unable to control the technology that staff use at home you could increase the risk of attacks on your business.
  • Make sure you install security updates as they are released to stay up to date with technology.

All businesses are under threat but above all else ignorance and turning a blind eye are the biggest threats to security. Start now in training your staff to be aware of security risks before it’s too late.

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