Cyber security for small businesses.

18th Oct 20

The National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) has recently re-launched it’s Small Business Guide. The Guide sets out five key areas for businesses to help improve their cyber security.

This new-look guidance arrives at a pertinent time when many organisations have moved their operations online due to the coronavirus pandemic. It highlights accessible and actionable steps for you to take which have little to no cost.

What is cyber security?

Cyber security is the means by which individuals and organisations reduce the risk of becoming victims of cyber attack.

Cyber security’s core aim is to protect the devices we all use, such as our smartphones, laptops, tablets and computers, and the services we access – both online and at work – from theft or damage.

From online banking and shopping, to email and social media, it’s more important than ever to take steps that can prevent cyber criminals getting hold of our accounts, passwords, data, and devices. 

The five recommended areas of focus are:

  1. Backing up your data: Top tips include keeping a back-up of data separate, reading the Cloud Security guidance, and backing up regularly.
  2. Protecting from malware: Top tips include switching on firewalls, preventing staff downloading dodgy apps, and controlling how USBs can be used.
  3. Keeping your smartphones (and tablets) safe: Top tips include making sure devices can be wiped remotely, not connecting to unknown Wi-Fi networks and keeping device software up-to-date.
  4. Using passwords to protect your data: Top tips include avoiding predictable passwords, using two-factor authentication, and changing default passwords.
  5. Avoid phishing attacks: Top tips include checking for obvious signs of phishing, reporting all attacks, and testing resilience using the Exercise in a Box tool

The cost of doing nothing!

Earlier this year, a survey by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) found around half of micro and small businesses (52%) reported falling victim to a cyber security breach or cyber attack in the past year. The average cost to these businesses was nearly £1,000 – rising to more than £3,000 for some. Make sure you are not one of them by taking a look at the NCSC’s tailored advice and guidance to support all organisations, including how they can securely move their physical operations online and safely scale-up home working.

There is bespoke advice available too for the self-employed and sole traders.