How Businesses Can Improve Digital Security

Digital Security

Digital security refers to the protection of your online identity, sensitive information and critical systems from cyber attacks. If you run a business, regardless of size, digital security must feature within your business continuity plan.

As per the most recent government statistics (March 2021) 39% of businesses and 26% of charities had experienced a breach of digital security within the previous 12 months. Medium to large businesses were the most targeted, as were high income charities. Incredibly, more than one in five of these organisations reported the frequency of these cyber attacks to be at least one per week with 20% of attacks resulting in financial loss, the loss of data or other assets. Between 35-40% of businesses reported being adversely impacted regardless of the success of the attack.

So, have you done your due diligence? What security measures do you currently have in place? Could your business survive a successful digital security breach?

We’ve been helping businesses of all shapes and sizes stay secure for more than 10 years. Our antivirus, back-up and data recovery services have been developed with business use in mind, designed to ensure that malicious digital security threats don’t disrupt your day to day operations. Call us today on 01403 290 321 to arrange a free, no obligation systems security check.

Potential outcomes of a digital security breach

  • Operational disruption
  • Theft of personal information, potentially resulting in GDPR compliancy breaches
  • Fraudulent financial transactions
  • Reputational damage
  • Loss of revenue
  • Theft of intellectual property

Identifying digital security risks

Identifying vulnerabilities within your business is the first step towards creating a digitally secure working environment. Broadly speaking digital security risks can be categorised as follows:

Network security risks

Any vulnerabilities within your network(s) pose a digital security risk and have the potential to be exploited by an outside party. Examples include insufficient application security, insecure WiFi access points, unencrypted data and misconfigured firewalls.

Operating system security risks

You’ll have noticed that operating system manufacturers, think Apple, Microsoft etc, regularly issue system updates. Known as ‘patches’, this software development rectifies vulnerabilities that exist within the operating systems code, digital security risks that have the potential to be exploited by would-be-hackers.

Human security risks

Unfortunately, the reality is that we ourselves pose the most risk when it comes to digital security. Intentionally or not, human involvement and user error has the potential to create exploitable access points for attackers.

Process or protocol security risks

Digital security experts do not consider passwords to be a secure method of authentication, yet for many businesses employees are responsible for creating their own security passcodes. It is poor process controls (or in some cases a complete absence of) such as this which again leave the ‘door’ wide open for cyber criminals.

Instruct IT professionals

Unless you are yourself a cyber security expert, in which case it is unlikely that you have read this far, we would always recommend employing IT professionals to assess and advise on your digital security strategy. For many businesses employing a full time, in-house security team is unfeasible and unaffordable. Our remote monitoring, cloud and onsite solutions offer all of the same benefits, at a fraction of the price. Find out more about our business support contracts.

Implement a digital security policy

All businesses should have an up to date digital security policy.

A typical business digital security policy should include:

  • Identification of assets to be protected
  • Identification of potential threats to those assets
  • Identification of parameters and controls to be implemented in order to protect those assets
  • Identification of a contingency, or disaster recovery plan (DRP)

Digital security tools

As briefly mentioned above, and in more detail in our ‘Cyberthreats From Your Inbox‘ post, the repercussions of a digital security breach can be severe. Fortunately, there are numerous web services and digital security tools available to help safeguard your business from those who wish to exploit it for personal gain.

Antivirus software

Antivirus software works 24/7, around the clock to locate and disable potentially malicious files or interactions before they have a chance to gain access to your systems. Although there are many variations of antivirus software, they should all be capable of:

  • disrupting the transmission of viruses
  • protecting your system from other forms of malware including worms, trojan horses, spyware, adware and ransomware
  • restricting unwanted pop-ups and advertisements

Proxies

Proxies, or proxy servers are an intermediate server (software or hardware) that create separation between the user and the internet. By doing so they reduce the user’s visible digital identity and restrict access to potentially malicious websites, providing the user with an increased level of privacy through an anonymous IP address.

Firewalls

Firewall software or applications act as a barrier between a private internal network and the internet. They differ from proxies in that they filter incoming and outgoing web traffic for an entire network of computer systems, while proxy servers protect a single local computer.

Employee training

Employee security awareness training is one of the most important tools at your disposal when it comes to digital security. Cyber security training platforms such as Bullphish ID provide regular, evolving security and phishing awareness training for staff in bite size pieces which helps to raise awareness of potential threats, minimising the risk of human error resulting in security breaches.

Keep your infrastructure up to date

This cannot be stressed enough!

Out of date hardware and software no longer provide the levels of security they did when new. The world of cyber crime is evolving rapidly and as such the tools needed to keep your systems secure must follow suit. More information regarding the importance of keeping devices and software up to date can be found here.

Talk to us about your cyber security

No matter the size of your company we are here to help. Contact us today to find out more about how to keep your business digitally secure.