5 Steps for creating a cyber security prevention plan

28th November 2019

Security concept

Cybercrime is risk to any business with an online presence. Cyber-attacks can have huge and sometimes detrimental implications for a business. A cyber- attack may even reduce trust in the company which can dramatically affect sales. As technological sophistication levels rise hackers are becoming equally as sophisticated. All companies should ensure they have a security prevention plan in place to try and avoid the damage cyber-attacks could do.

Here we discuss the 5 steps to improve cyber security in your business.

Show that you are committed to cyber security

Demonstrate to your employees that your company takes cyber security seriously. Ingrain best- practises into the culture. Lead by example, and your employees should follow. Attend cyber security training, create a cyber security strategy and ensure all employees understand what this strategy is and what actions they should take to enforce it. There are also opportunities for you to become certified in areas of cyber security. Although this is optional, it creates a strong, positive image that you are fully on-board with cyber security and have a solid strategy.

Ensure you have layers of security

Never rely on a single layer of security as this exposes your business to all sorts of risks. Have a mixture of human and computer led monitoring on a regular basis to make sure your cyber security remains strong. Also ensure that malware protection is present. Avoid using free products if possible as some of these do not provide the level of protection they suggest.

Keep passwords safe

Enforce a rule that employees must have strong passwords for all software and programs that they use. Ensure they use complex but unique passwords for everything. To make this easier, you can use a password manager which stores these passwords. This reduces the risk of employees choosing weak and repetitive passwords, it also enables you to check the strength of the passwords yourself. You can create strong passwords within the program as well as quickly change any passwords en masse if you need to.

Avoid older programs
Avoid using older systems such as Windows XP as they do not receive updates and can leave your PC more vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

Educate your employees
–    Provide training for all your employees. You may be fully invested in cyber security but if your staff are not and do not have the correct knowledge, you are putting your business at risk. You can either conduct the training yourself or introduce external training.
–    Inform your employees of some things they can look out for such as spotting malicious emails by noticing grammatical errors in the email address.
–    Data breaches in small to medium sized companies can be the result of internal issues such as misusing data or lack of cyber protection knowledge so it is vital your employees understand the seriousness of a cyber-attack threat. If employees do not have the training, your organisation is more at risk from hackers.
–    Ensure the employees can only access the information they need to carry out their job. Alter permissions to only allow certain people to view sensitive documents. For example, only a few people will need access to HR files.

Have a recovery plan
Although your plan should prevent cyber-attacks happening in the first place, unfortunately it is something you cannot prevent with 100% certainty. This is due to the rapid complexity nature of technology. Always have a recovery plan ready in case the worst happens as it means you can handle the situation much quicker and in turn hopefully limit the damage caused.

Once you have a cyber prevention plan in place, update it regularly. Never think that once you have completed the plan you do not have to make tweaks. Cyber security is a continuous working process requiring constant vigilance and updating. and you will need to undertake regular checks and audits to see if there is anything else you can do. Some cyber-attacks may never be detected in time however, having a strong prevention plan protects your business and your investment as much as possible which will provide you with peace of mind.

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