Cyber Security checklist for 2019

Author: Kieron Doyle

Cyber security is one of those subjects which every business knows is important but can also feel too complex or too technical to know where to begin with it. That’s why our experts at Hampshire Business Computers have created this Cyber Security Checklist which every small business should follow to keep their data and information safe in 2019.

1. Understand cyber security

While it might feel complicated, cyber security is actually about ensuring your business has the policies, control procedures and technologies in place to help protect your IT networks. Cyber security protects your business against deliberate attacks, accidental breaches and human error.

2. Ensure your staff are trained

Human error and accidental breaches are among the most common cyber problems faced by businesses so it’s important to train all of your staff on a regular basis. That way they will be aware of current risks and threats and know how to spot them.

It’s important that staff who work remotely, perhaps using open Wi-Fi networks, understand the risks involved and are aware of the use of secure mobile devices and the dangers of social engineering.

3. Monitor your network activity

The only way you will know if there has been an attack or a breach is by regularly monitoring all of your network activity, that way any problems can be spotted and dealt with very quickly, using your cyber security protocols.

4. Have robust risk management policies

Human error can be kept in check by introducing risk management policies into the business covering all cyber security risks. It’s important to provide these policies and guidance on how to reduce risk, to anyone who operates within your business systems. This could be staff, contractors, customers and suppliers.

Identify the cyber risks that threaten your organisation and put technologies and controls in place that reflect the level of protection you require for the risks to become acceptable.

5. Review your security tools regularly

It’s important that any safety and security measures you put in place are working and updated so review your anti-virus and anti-spam software regularly and make sure your firewall is working effectively. You should also consider undergoing a network penetration assessment regularly to spot any vulnerability.

6. Make sure you back-up regularly

One of the problems with a cyber-attack is the loss of data or corruption of data so make sure a reliable and comprehensive backup system is in place and regularly conduct data restore tests to ensure data is easily and fully recoverable.

7. Have a disaster plan in place

It’s important to know what to do if the worst did happen so you need to develop an incident reporting policy and a Disaster Recovery plan and test it regularly, making sure all staff are familiar with the policies in readiness for its possible use. Apply patches at the earliest opportunity to reduce the risk of exposure to known vulnerabilities.

8. Control access to your systems

This is one of the simpler measures you can take – make sure people using your systems can only access what they need. Control user access rights and privileges so they are set appropriately and don’t exceed the needs of the users. Extended rights and privileges can introduce the risk of accidental or deliberate misuse.

Configure all PC hardware and mobile devices so that they are capable of completing the functionality required from the users but nothing more than that and make sure there is a policy for the management of removable media as this is a vulnerability with regard to introducing malware and exporting confidential data.

Cyber security issues are only going to grow as more and more businesses become completely digital so it’s vital that the management team is committed to providing the necessary tools, processes and budgets to manage the organisation’s ongoing cyber security policies.

If you need any help or advice on how best to make your business cyber-secure this year, then please do contact our IT experts at Hampshire Business Computers and we will work together with you to keep your business safe.

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