Cyber Security 101: Top Tips for Keeping Secure
Last year, 39% of UK businesses identified a cyber-attack.
Cyber threats are constantly evolving, and it is vital that you are aware of the most common tactics cyber criminals are using, and at least have the baseline measures in place to help detect and prevent them.
In this blog, we will give you some top tips and best practices for keeping your accounts, systems, and data secure.
Keep On Top of Software Updates
One of the easiest things you can do to help keep cyber secure is to update your software as soon as an updated version becomes available. Regular software updates often contain patches for security vulnerabilities discovered since the previous version. If you neglect these updates, you leave your system exposed to threats. Make it a habit to update your devices, web browsers, and applications regularly.
Strengthen Your Passwords
Passwords are your first line of defence when it comes to a cyber-criminal trying to access your accounts. Using strong and unique passwords for each of your accounts can help make it almost impossible for your accounts to be breached. A good password should contain a mix of numbers, symbols, and upper and lowercase letters. It takes 34,000 years to crack a 12-character password that contains all of these.
To securely manage all these passwords, you should use a reputable password manager.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication (2FA) should be implemented wherever possible on all your accounts. 2FA is an extra layer of security, requiring a user to provide two separate factors to prove their identity. It typically involves a second step after entering your password – like entering a code sent to your phone or authenticator app. Using multi-factor authentication blocks 99.9% of account hacks.
Know How to Spot a Phishing Attack
Phishing scams are a common type of cyber-attack that aim to steal sensitive information or money. These frauds usually involve cyber criminals sending fraudulent emails, text messages or calls that appear to come from legitimate sources. Last year, phishing was the most common form of cyber-attack, making up 83% of all threat vectors.
When identifying a phishing email, look out for the tell-tale signs:
- Poor grammar, spelling, or formatting
- Strange or fraudulent sender email address
- Masked email addresses and links
- Unexpected or suspicious attachments
- Unusual requests or actions
- Sense of urgency
Install Antivirus Software
Reliable antivirus software serves as the first line of defence against malware and other cyber threats. It can detect, quarantine, and eliminate most threats before they can cause any damage.
But antivirus software is only effective if it is regularly updated. Cyber threats are continually evolving, with new strains of malware constantly being developed. Antivirus software updates and patches are released regularly to address these emerging threats, helping keep your systems secure.
Train Your Staff
95% of cyber security issues can be traced to human error, so it is vital your team know how to effectively detect a cyber threat and manage your organisation’s data.
Deploying regular staff awareness training provides your team with the knowledge and skills to recognise and respond to the latest cyber threats, allowing you to establish a strong line of defence against potential breaches. By acting as an additional layer of defence, your staff become an integral part of your cyber security strategy.
Conducting this training also ensures that your staff understand how to handle your organisation’s data in a secure and compliant manner, avoiding the risk of a data breach.
Achieve Compliance & Certification
To achieve compliance with regulatory standards such as the GDPR and PCI DSS, you will need to establish and implement robust data protection measures. These measures help safeguard your organisation against unauthorised access, data breaches, and cyber-attacks.
There are various standards and certifications that not only help protect your organisation from cyber incidents, but also highlight to customers and stakeholders that you are committed to protecting sensitive information and maintaining a high standard of cyber security.
The Government-backed Cyber Essentials scheme aims to help protect organisations of all sizes from the most common types of cyber threats. Implementing the scheme’s core controls can help protect your organisation from 80% of cyber-attacks.
ISO 27001 is the international standard for an information security management system (ISMS) and is designed to help organisations manage and protect their sensitive data. This standard is recognised globally as a benchmark for information security management.
Back-Up Your Data
Despite taking all these precautions, a cyber incident could still occur. Regularly backing up your data is essential when it comes to limiting the damage caused by a breach.
Many data protection regulations, such as the GDPR, require organisations to have appropriate data backup and recovery mechanisms in place.
By implementing a robust data backup strategy, you can minimise the impact of a breach and swiftly recover your valuable data. Regularly backing up your data ensures that you have copies of your information stored separately from your primary systems.
When it comes to certain cyber-attacks, such as ransomware attacks, having a recent backup means you can restore your systems and data from a point before the attack occurred, enabling you to regain control over your data.
Cyber security is an ongoing process, not a one-time solution. It requires regular updates, constant vigilance, and a proactive mindset to stay one step ahead of cyber threats.
When it comes to cyber security, prevention is always better than cure.
If you would like to find out more about the cyber security measures you can implement into your organisation, contact the team at 3B Data Security. Their specialist consultants have decades of real-life experience and knowledge on how to prevent, manage and forensically investigate cyber security incidents, as well as help organisations achieve and maintain industry-standard regulatory compliance.
Find out more or book our online Masterclass – Cyber Security 101: Understanding the threats you face and how to protect your organisation led by 3B Data Security’s MD, Benn Morris on Wed 14 June – more details here