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Are you at risk from cybercrime?

  • “We never thought it would happen to us!”
  • “As far as I was concerned, we just weren’t big enough to be a target.”
  • “We kept meaning to sort our IT and update equipment…”

You may not think you’re at risk from cybercrime. But – as comments like these unequivocally illustrate – neither do the vast majority of the businesses who experience it.

Despite recent high-profile attacks, cybercrime is often misunderstood. It’s not just the work of internet geeks, sitting in their homes tapping furiously on their laptops. Organised gangs are often responsible.

Targeting bank information, intellectual property or crypto-currency (bitcoin), cyber-attacks are becoming all too common. What’s more, cybercrime is taken increasingly seriously, and has its own department at the National Crime Agency.

But how do you know if you’re at risk? And what can you do to increase your business’s chances of preventing or withstanding attack?

Indicators that you’re playing a high-stakes game

From out-dated equipment to an "it won't happen to me" attitude, there are many reasons why cybercrime is so successful. If any of these scenarios strike a chord, it’s likely that you’re putting your business at risk.

  • Feeling invulnerable or just insignificant – essentially you don’t take any cyber security precautions because you think it won’t happen to you.
  • Poor or dated equipment – you keep meaning to update your systems, but you’re never able to find the time or the budget.
  • Devices that are no longer supported by a manufacturer – for example, Windows XP, MS Server 2003 and MS Small Business Server.
  • Failure to have a regular, tested backup – even with cyber security measures in place, you’re at risk if you don’t have a fail-safe way of getting back online.

Reducing the odds of a successful attack

As you’re reading this blog, it’s safe to assume that you’re considering overhauling your cyber security procedures. And the good news is, with the right approach, there are some simple steps you can take to reduce your risk.

  • Take a layered approach to security – install a firewall and establish anti-virus and anti-spam precautions.
  • Constantly update your software and firmware – vendors go to huge lengths to keep up with the latest attack strategies, coming up with indicators to block any attack.
  • Enshrine stringent security processes – ensure that your whole team understands and follows procedures.
  • Don’t recognise the domain name? Then don’t open the email and make sure you don't click on links.
  • In the event of a ransomware attack – if you do experience an attack, turn everything off and unplug from the network.

Essentially, proactivity holds the key to successfully defending your business from cybercrime. Don’t assume it won’t happen to you. Expect the worst and you’ll have the right equipment, software and processes to ensure that – even in the event of an attack – you’ll continue to function.

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