IT security should be a priority for every business. With the Covid 19 pandemic disrupting the workplace over the past year, many businesses are now beginning to return to work from the office, although, there will still likely be a high percentage of employees that will continue to work remotely.

With this comes the responsibility of safeguarding your IT infrastructure from beyond your office-based IT network and structure. For over a year now, businesses have had to learn to accommodate working from home solutions whilst maintaining robust IT defences from cybercrime. However, there is still likely a high number of businesses that haven’t upgraded their IT security to combat potential cyber threats to the business and its data.

In the UK alone, 4 out of 10 businesses have been attacked by cybercriminals. The majority of the cases are financially motivated, extorting businesses to return their data. This can even lead to bankruptcy, as the fees to return the data either cause immediate financial damage to the business or hurt them further down the line. A businesses reputation will also be heavily impacted and trust will be difficult to rebuild. This is why having a robust cybersecurity system in place is paramount to driving a successful business forward.

Common Cybersecurity Measures for Your Business to Take

Cybersecurity doesn’t have to be a huge outlay for a business. If conducted effectively, tailored cybersecurity packages can be provided by IT security professionals to safeguard their systems and hardware based on the businesses needs and goals.

IT security can cover everything from BCDR planning and disaster recovery protocols to hardware safety and network management and firewalls. Great cybersecurity companies will tailor IT security programmes that suit your businesses IT hardware and software. However, for businesses unsure of where to start, here are some cybersecurity measures to put in place

Investing in Cybersecurity Training for Your Staff

Cybersecurity training gets overlooked as other IT security methods are favoured. It is, of course, important to have firewalls, security software and cybersecurity protocols in place, however, the biggest two implications of improper cybersecurity are based on human error. Firstly, password mistakes. These are the most common form of cybersecurity failure in a business, with over 90% of cybersecurity attacks coming from password mistakes or passwords that are generic/easy to decipher. Secondly, social engineering and phishing attacks are prevalent cybercrimes that occur to businesses as employees are not trained to identify potentially malicious emails, texts and other forms of communication from cybercriminals.

Together, these two forms of cybersecurity failures are enough to take down whole IT infrastructures and risk harming your entire business if not handled correctly. This is why cybersecurity training is extremely important to businesses. IT security training helps your staff to identify and handle potential cyber-attacks more effectively; determining what a cyber attack is and how to best handle the situation. As a result, businesses are more secure with extra defences coming from individual team members as well as your IT security team.

Cybersecurity Software for Your Business

Another important aspect of cybersecurity that you can invest in quickly for your business is cybersecurity software. From antivirus software, or multi-layered email protection software that combats everything from CEO impersonation through to DMARC checking and encryption, having robust IT security software can create a base-layer security protocol that at least covers key aspects of your IT systems. This allows businesses to scale their IT security with their business growth, and when the time is right, leading to cybersecurity services from professionals to manage a businesses IT system.

Whilst IT security software can perform well at safeguarding businesses IT data, it’s worth noting that misconfiguration of such software can be very timely and costly to businesses. Should businesses be encouraged to utilise cybersecurity software, they would need to do so with the understanding of how to configure this software and integrate them into existing hardware and networks correctly.

Network Protocol Management

Network protocols should be managed to identify bottlenecks caused by potential loading on a specific device within the network. If devices are slowing down the network, it’s a sign that the device has been compromised and is using more resources than needed. A way to combat this is through identity and access management. Access control provides the ability to identify users and their devices and manage their resources while connected to the network. This can be done through a router and switch access control lists along with firewalls.

Additionally, you can use Intrusion Prevention Systems (ISPes). These are used between the internal network and the internet network. ISPs use malicious signals to identify packets that go in and out of the company network. During this process, ISPes can identify new malicious packets and block them in real-time.

Finally, consider wireless network security. Implementing WiFi Protected Access protocols such as preshared keys or per-user authentication enables the wireless network security to block cybercriminals from connecting to the wireless network.

What to do if You Have Been Hacked 

Cybercrime should not be underestimated. The financial damages businesses can incur can reach over £100,000 depending on the data held to ransom by cybercriminals. This can destabilise a business and even force them into bankruptcy. If you have been hacked, seek professional help from an IT security professional as well as contacting the relevant authorities.

Prevention is the best solution. Here at Equity, we always suggest instructing a highly reputable cybersecurity company before an event happens – this is the best course of action you’ll take when safeguarding your IT system.

Equity are experts in cybersecurity with many years of experience and can provide a tailored service to suit your business requirements. To learn more about how your business could benefit from working with us, and how we can offer peace of mind solutions, we welcome you to contact us today for more information.