25th May 2018

Cybersecurity: A Quick Guide to Protecting Your Company

We are no longer on the cusp of Industry 4.0, we are well underway and taking steps to protect ourselves online is now at the forefront of any company with an online presence. “Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting systems, networks, and programs from digital attacks.” * Meaning that knowing how to protect your business, images, and vital information is crucial and is a factor that all businesses should be aware of. Here are a few of the key threats businesses need to keep in mind:

Passwords

It may seem obvious but getting creative with your passwords is the first step in the fight against cyber attacks. Follow these steps for a secure password:

  • Choose an 8+ characters password. Choosing a lengthy password makes it harder for bots to crack
  • Avoid using the same password for multiple platforms
  • Try using a passphrase – three or more random words, at around 20-30 characters
  • Add numbers and symbols to increase security and lower the risk of a cyber attack
  • For online banking or other platforms that hold highly sensitive information, consider changing your password every three months

Shared Devices

An upcoming, popular trend that is being embraced within the workplace is allowing employees to use their own, personal devices to work on from home. It’s a nice idea in theory but can present many problems when it comes to passwords, downloadable content, sharing sensitive information and more. Using personal technology in the workplace could potentially compromise any good cybersecurity practice you’ve previously implemented. Personal and professional devices should be covered in your company’s employee handbook and include the suitable steps to follow for the use of both work and personal devices. For example, where they are allowed to be used, and how they can be made secure.

Your People

Although ‘people’ may not be your first thought when it comes to cybersecurity, employees can be the first defenders within the workplace. The more people employed, the more likely it is that someone will click, download or visit something they shouldn’t, even by accident. Keeping employees up-to-date on the rules and regulations of your company and how to protect company-wide security will ultimately result in improving your electronic data. Education is key! Check out this small business guide for small businesses from NCSC, National Cyber Security Centre, to get you started,

* https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/security/what-is-cybersecurity.html