Be proactive to be safe against cyber threats
In today’s digital age, cybersecurity is a worry for every business, and as an owner-manager, you need to make sure your company is protected
In today’s digital age, cybersecurity is a worry for every business, and as an owner-manager, you need to make sure your company is as protected as possible from cyber threats. This is according to Daniel Garry, director of security, FutureRange, who stresses the importance of taking action now to ensure you and your company are equipped to deal with any problems.
“Cyberattacks can have devastating consequences, ranging from data breaches and financial losses to reputational damage,” Garry commented. “As an owner-manager, it’s essential to be proactive in protecting your business against these ever-evolving threats.
Why it is in the news: Urging owner-managers to be proactive in protecting against cybersecurity threats
“Ignoring cybersecurity concerns can lead to severe consequences for your business. But by addressing some key issues, you can significantly enhance your business’s resilience against cyber threats.”
The first priority, Garry said, is to ensure your employees are aware of cybersecurity threats and are trained to recognise and deal with them promptly. “One of the most significant vulnerabilities in any organisation is its employees. All it takes is one unwitting click on a malicious link or a poorly chosen password to compromise your entire network.
“Owner managers must prioritise ongoing cybersecurity training and awareness programs for their staff. Educate employees about common cyber threats like phishing, malware, and social engineering. Encourage the use of strong, unique passwords and implement multi-factor authentication wherever possible. By investing in your employees’ cybersecurity knowledge, you create a robust first line of defence against cyberattacks.”
Risk of data breaches
As an owner manager it is also up to you to stay up to date with data protection and privacy regulations – and ensure you are fully compliant. “Data breaches can result in severe legal and financial repercussions for businesses,” said Garry. “Owner-managers must stay up to date with data protection regulations such as GDPR, depending on their location and client base. Ensure that your business complies with these regulations, and regularly review and update your data protection policies. Implement strong encryption and access controls to safeguard sensitive customer and employee data. Fostering a culture of data privacy within your organisation can go a long way in preventing data breaches.”
The next step, Garry said, is to make sure your technology is protected. “Cybercriminals often exploit vulnerabilities in outdated software and operating systems,” Garry commented. “To protect your business, ensure that all your software, applications, and systems are regularly updated with the latest security patches. Consider implementing a patch management process to automate and streamline this critical task. Staying current with security updates is a simple yet highly effective way to reduce your business’s exposure to known vulnerabilities.”
Incident response plans
Unfortunately, cyberattacks do happen, and it’s important to know that no company is absolutely immune to breaches – and to have a plan in place should the worst happen. “In the unfortunate event of a cyberattack or data breach, having a well-defined incident response plan is crucial,” said Garry. “As an owner manager, you should establish clear protocols for identifying, containing, and mitigating cybersecurity incidents. Assign specific roles and responsibilities to your team members in case of an emergency. Conduct regular tabletop exercises to test the effectiveness of your response plan and ensure that your team knows how to react swiftly and decisively. Having a solid incident response plan in place can minimise the damage and downtime associated with cyber incidents.”
Staying current with security updates is a simple yet highly effective way to reduce your business’s exposure to known vulnerabilities
Our world, Garry said, is moving faster and faster, so you must regularly look at your cyber security and make sure you are always protected as much as possible. “Cyber threats are constantly evolving, making it essential to regularly assess your business’s security posture. Conduct vulnerability scanning and penetration testing to identify weaknesses in your network, applications, and systems. These assessments help you pinpoint potential entry points for cyberattacks and allow you to take corrective action before malicious actors can exploit these vulnerabilities.”
If need be, call in the experts, he said. “Consider enlisting the services of cybersecurity professionals with expertise in conducting thorough security assessments on an ongoing basis and ensure the services are tailored to your business’s needs. This is a key support for most IT teams as it’s challenging for in-house teams to keep on top of ever-changing threats.
“Remember that cybersecurity is an ongoing process, and staying vigilant is key. Collaborate with experts and leverage the latest technologies to protect your business in this digital age. By prioritising cyber security, you not only safeguard your company’s future but also build trust with your customers, partners, and stakeholders, demonstrating your commitment to the security of their data and the longevity of your business.”