According to recent data from a leading supplier of anti-virus and firewall software, at least one in every ten UK small businesses have endured a digital security breach as a result of employee error. Digital security should be a key priority for businesses of every size. We have compiled a series of simple ways in which you can protect yourself.
Employees are the most important element of a digital security strategy. It is important that all staff are properly trained and are aware of their responsibilities. There are an ever growing number of firms and individuals who can offer high quality training in this field, and an investment in this area could save your business substantial problems in the future. Businesses should also ensure that their employees understand and adhere to a digital security policy (as explained later in this article).
Passwords remain the primary means by which users are authenticated. Employees need to ensure that their passwords are as secure as they possibly can be.
It is common for people to use the same password for multiple services. This is never a good idea, as a single breach could provide nefarious users with access to many accounts. It is also good practice to avoid using personal information such as a date of birth.
For maximum security, it might be worth considering using a password manager to generate and store random character strings. This is one of the most effective means to boost the strength of passwords.
Hackers often exploit security flaws in software. Businesses can look to prevent this by ensuring that they are running the latest versions. It is therefore essential that all software is properly ‘patched’ and up to date. Many server systems provide the option to automatically update software when a new version becomes available.
Invest in anti-virus and firewall software
A robust anti-virus software and hardware firewall are absolute necessities for any office-based business. SMEs should always use an enterprise-class solution for their business. This will require an investment, but the potential savings are enormous when compared against the costs of a security breach.
Write a digital security policy
It is vital that all businesses have a comprehensive digital security policy in place. A policy document will codify the acceptable practices regarding things like internet use, portable devices and password strength.
We recommend drawing up a security policy with the help of an expert. It might be a good idea to do this at the same time as training staff. Once written, a digital security guide should be circulated around staff and it should be checked that they understand the importance of adhering to it.
Cyber Liability Insurace
Should the worse happen and a business suffers a digital security breach, it is possible to protect against some exposures with a cyber liability insurance solution. Adler Insurance Brokers can offer risk management and insurance cover to address these risks, including:
- Detailed insurance gap analysis
- A network security survey
- Security policy review and development
- Cyber risk identification and quantification
Adler Insurance Brokers works with leading cyber risk insurers to develop cyber risk insurance protection for internet and network exposures, including:
- Liability: privacy and confidentiality
- Copyright, trademark, defamation
- Malicious code and viruses
- Business interruption: network outages, computer failure
- Attacks, unauthorised access, theft, website defacement and cyber extortion
- Technology errors and omissions
- Intellectual property infringement
If you have any questions regarding the information set out in this article, please give us a call on 0121 764 5500.