Who is responsible for keeping data safe in your business? Your IT team? Chief Information Officer? Data Protection Officer? We think it’s everyone’s responsibility to protect their data, customer data, and business data by doing everything they can to keep information and networks secure. With more professionals working from home than ever before due to the pandemic, using their own devices and Wi-Fi, relying on email correspondence, logging in to business networks remotely, there has been an increase in cyber attacks, scams, and phishing emails.
The latest form of business email phishing attacks involves impersonating familiar senders. 36% of professionals said they are seeing email threats coming into their inboxes every day.GreatHorn Report
Here are our top 10 simple tips that everyone can follow to help you keep your data safe and secure.
1. Keep your usernames and passwords strong and secure.
Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts. You can use a Password Manager to manage all of your passwords. A password manager will sync all your saved passwords and fill in login information for you.
2. Verify an individual before handing over personal data.
Don’t give your username, password or any kind of credentials to anyone. A reputable company will not contact you and ask you to share sensitive information or passwords, or install security software on your computer.
3. Don’t open emails or attachments from unknown sources.
If you suspect that you have received a suspicious email, there are several things you should do.
- Check the URL is legitimate. If it is encrypted, it will have ‘https’ at the start of the web address.
- Check for grammar and spelling mistakes. These could be a sign that the email is not from a genuine organisation.
- Do not click on any links or attachments.
- Delete the email and block the sender.
- Activate the spam filter in your email settings.
4. Use multifactor authentication when you can.
Multifactor or two-factor authentication requires you to enter a second piece of information before you can log in to your account. For example, a code texted to your mobile phone. If your password is stolen, your account cannot be accessed without the additional piece of information.
5. Think and check before you download software, apps or files online.
If you want to download the latest app or new software, do your research and check that you’re downloading safe software from a reputable company or site. It’s also a good idea to regularly review any addons or extensions that are installed in your web browser. If you are no longer using them, uninstall them. You should also check the apps on your phone or tablet and delete any that you don’t use or look unfamiliar.
6. Share passwords via a Password Manager.
If you need to share log in details with a colleague who is working remotely or family and friends, you can do this safely using a Password Manager rather than via email or text message.
7. Shop at reputable sites.
Whether it’s personal or business purchases, buy from sites and retailers that you know. If it’s your first time shopping on a new site, do some research online, see what other people have to say about them, and check any reviews to determine if they are a legitimate seller.
8. Connect to secure Wi-Fi
If you’re working remotely, make sure you connect to a secure Wi-Fi. Public Wi-Fi networks are not secure, and this makes your data vulnerable to being accessed by someone else. Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is essential when working remotely. It provides a secure and encrypted connection between you and the websites you are visiting, keeping your data private and safe. Without a VPN, your data (name, credit card details, passwords, etc.) could be stolen, controlled or sold by a hacker.
48% of organisations in the UK are unable to carry out basic tasks like setting up firewalls, storing data, and removing malware.Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport
9. Backup your data
Start by identifying the data you need to backup – the essential data and information that the business can’t operate without. Data can become corrupted at any time, so it’s crucial to backup your data regularly.
There are many types of cyberattacks, and they are evolving all of the time. Viruses and Trojans steal your data, and in some cases, delete it too. Ransomware attacks put a virus on your computer that encrypts your data. By backing up your data, you can quickly recover it in the event of an attack, and continue to run your business without too much downtime or disruption.
Backing up your data on the same disk as your original information is not without risk, so it’s a good idea to keep your backup separate from your computer. There are many storage options, including USB drives, external drives or computers, and cloud storage. It’s best to store your backups at a separate location from your original data files – this is simple if you choose to backup your data to the cloud or off-site/off-server storage. The more places you have data backed up, the better. Finally, backups should be secure and restricted, so designated employees only can access them.
10. Install security software updates
It’s essential to keep your security software, web browsers, and operating systems up-to-date. Software companies issue regular updates with patches for security flaws and vulnerabilities that help defend against the latest cyberthreats. Always install security updates for the software you use on your computer or personal devices straight away.
Following these simple tips will help you to keep your data safe and secure. If you are concerned about keeping on top of cybersecurity and the ever-evolving threat landscape, a fully managed Security-as-a-Service solution is the easy way to protect your information and communication technologies systems, minimise data theft and safeguard your business-critical data and users from internal and external threats.
If you would like to find out more about our Security-as-a-Service, or discuss our Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity services, please contact Jack Wright on 01285 810606 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.