How We Can Help Protect You

If you’ve read our What Is Cyber Security? page you’ll know that the once you’ve identified what data is important to you then you need to protect it. The level and type of protection that each business needs will be different but some things are required by pretty much every business.

We’ll start with the one that everyone has heard of and no business (or individual) should be without.

Anti-Virus

There are loads of AV programmes available. You’ll no doubt of heard of Norton, McAfee, AVG, Kaspersky, Avast and many, many others. There is a solution to fit every budget, with lots of free offerings. Windows even comes with it’s Anti-Virus built in.

An Antivirus product is designed to detect and remove computer viruses and other kinds of malicious software from your computer or laptop. We wouldn’t recommend a free version for a business, they have reduced functionality and don’t provide the same type of protection as a paid version.

All commercial AV products are pretty good and, as long as you make sure they are up to date, any PAID offering will offer pretty much as much protection as another.

Antivirus is your first layer in your cyber security defences and shouldn’t be ignored. However, it is not enough of its own. The people trying to attack you have become more sophisticated. The attacks are cleverer, and more complex. As the criminals use better tools we have to do more to defend ourselves.

Firewalls

Although we’ve started with AV the first line of defence for any business is actually your Firewall. Your router at home will have a firewall built in. These basic firewalls stop the most obvious attacks getting into your network, before they even reach your computer and your Antivirus.

Of course just stopping the most obvious attacks is not enough when you’re running a business. For businesses you want a Unified Threat Management, or UTM, firewall. This is a single ‘box’ which provides several different security functions. This sits at the perimeter of your network. Think of it as the wall built around all of the technology in your business.

The Firewall will stop 80%+ of problems, your AV will mop up another 10%. Already you’ve made your business so much safer. But 10% of problems are still getting through so lets add some more layers.

Email Filtering, Phishing Simulation & Security Awareness Training

Cyber criminals use email to deliver viruses and malware. It normally needs somebody to interact with the email to cause a problem. Clicking a link or downloading an attachment installs the virus on your computer. These often contain ransomware. Your files are locked and you have to pay to have them released.

There are a couple of ways to protect yourself here. First you use email filtering to stop as many of those emails as possible getting into your inboxes.

Then you train your staff to recognise any bad emails that do get through and to not interact with them.

Two more layers of protection!

Passwords

Bad passwords – we all know someone who still uses Password123 – are a big security risk. Even strong passwords can be compromised, especially if they are re-used on multiple websites. Businesses should be looking for a bit of extra security above and beyond the password. This is where Multi-Factor Authentication comes in.

You and your staff will already use MFA in lots of places. Banks have been using it for years. Whilst Google, Facebook and various other online accounts now offer it. Some even insist you have it on their accounts!

MFA means that there is an additional method of checking it’s you before you get into an account. So you enter your password, then you get a code sent to your phone that you have to enter. Only when the two bits of information have been entered correctly can you access the account.

You can apply this to the laptops, desktops, even mobiles and tablets in your business. You can also use it on Microsoft 365 accounts, even individual email accounts if you want. It means good passwords, only used on one site are still best practice, but are less critical to your security.

Minimising Risk

Everything we do within the ‘Protect’ portion of a cyber attack prevention plan is to minimise the risk. Each layer makes it harder for attackers. However nobody can guarantee 100% security.

We take some of the risk. As your IT Support Provider we do not want you to be attacked. It will mean work for us, harm our relationship with you and damage our reputation. But as the owners of the data you have ultimate responsibility. We’ll try and make you as secure as possible. But even if you follow our advice to the letter, and put every layer of protection in place you can still be victims of crime.

NEXT……

How We Can Help You

Each of our IT Support clients gets something called Security Essentials as part of their support package. This includes Antivirus, Email Filtering and Advanced Threat Protection (email filtering on steroids!). We then discuss what other protection they need and put that in place.

Becoming one of our Managed Service Clients starts with a 15-minute video call. In this call we’ll find out what technology you have, discuss your current IT issues and talk about what you need from your technology. There is no obligation to move to a full IT Assessment following this call, and no obligation to buy anything, ever. If you’d rather you can call us on 0115 8220200 or complete our contact form and we’ll get back to you.

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