Cyber security
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Simple steps to a cyber secure business

2020 represented a year of immense changes for technology use. Working from home became the norm for many people and changes in buying behaviour saw businesses increasing the use of technology and e-commerce.

A report by the UK's Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport found that COVID-19 and home working changed the digital infrastructure for many organisations. For example, 34% of businesses and 20% of charities now use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)(1) which presents new challenges for security, and upgrading hardware, software and systems.

UK businesses identifying breaches or attacks in 2021

39%
of small businesses
65%
of medium-sized businesses
26%
of charities

2021 figures show that 39% of businesses and 26% of charities experienced cyber security breaches or attacks in the last year. Around a quarter of those affected experienced them at least once a week and phishing continued to be the most common cyber security issue. The figures also show that over three quarters of businesses and charities don’t have cyber security policies that cover home working(1).

With prevention being a key factor in the fight against cyber-crime, implementing simple but effective safeguarding procedures can minimise your chance of falling victim, whatever the size of your organisation. So what can businesses and individuals do to keep themselves cyber safe?

What should businesses look out for?

Beware of phishing

Be suspicious of emails with urgent, fear-inducing subject lines, or updates from scammers posing as someone from your company. If you’re unsure, hover over the sender’s email address and any links within the email with your mouse to ensure it's legit. If you’re not sure, don’t click it.

Beware of vishing (voice phishing)

Be wary of anyone who asks for your log-in information, financial account or access to your devices over the phone. Always confirm that the request is from a trusted source.

Where can businesses take action?

Back up data

This’ll mean you can access it outside of your system if you’re hit by a cyber-attack.

Keep software up to date

Out of date computer and phone software can expose you to cyber-attacks, so install updates as soon as possible.

Use passwords and multi-factor authentication

Ensure your passwords are complex and hard-to-guess by using random words, a combination of capital and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols, and change them frequently. Better yet, use a password manager and multi-factor authentication.

As we enter a new world of 'blended' working, there's never been a better time to think about how cyber security risks can be better managed, and what more businesses can do to stay cyber safe. 

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to convey or constitute legal advice. HSB makes no warranties or representations as to the accuracy or completeness of the content herein. Under no circumstances shall HSB or any party involved in creating or delivering this article be liable to you for any loss or damage that results from the use of the information contained herein.