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Deadlines vs data security: how to find a balance for your business

Deadlines vs data security: how to find a balance for your business

Posted 01st October, 2021 by Sarah

Cybersecurity Month begins today and tsoHost is joining more than 40 countries across the world to raise awareness of the prevalence of cybercrime and just how dangerous it can be to individuals and businesses of all sizes.

Every year the organisers of Cybersecurity Month pick themes for the event.

This year these themes are:

• Think Before You Click #thinkB4Uclick

• Cyber first aid

• How to be cyber secure at home

In this blog we’ll touch on all of these elements as we look into how you can ensure you employ good cyber hygiene both personally and within your business without it having to take up too much of your valuable time.

This is one of the hottest topics in cyber security at the moment as a new study has just revealed that almost half of office workers under the age of 24 see cyber security practices as a hinderance and a shocking 31% admit to ignoring corporate security policies in order to meet their deadlines.

The study, carried out by HP, also discovered that IT workers often feel like they have no choice but to compromise cybersecurity in order to appease workers who complain about certain measures slowing down business processes.

Before we dive into the tips on how to balance cyber security with deadlines, we’ll briefly look into the cybercrime landscape, as it applies to small to medium businesses.

The cost of cybercrime to the UK’s SMEs

According to The Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, 40% of the UK’s businesses experienced a cyber security breach or attack in 2020.

These figures may be greater in 2021, especially in certain parts of the country – the CEO of the National Cyber Security Centre has recently suggested that the likelihood of a Scottish company falling victim to a breach is now one in two.

“Cyber attackers are getting bolder and they’re starting to act with impunity,” he went on to tell The National newspaper.

So, what do these figures translate to in monetary terms?

Well, according to the DCMS, the average cost of a cyber-attack on a UK business is an eye-watering £8,460.

Put simply, it’s never been more important to ensure your cyber security practices are up to scratch.

4 tips for balancing good cyber hygiene with meeting deadlines

1. Streamline password security

Hackers will often try to crack the passwords of company employees in order to access everything from accounts and sensitive information to customer data.

Yet it’s thought that one in five employees in the UK still use weak passwords.

Weak passwords include:

• Default passwords

• Common passwords like 123456 or qwerty

• Passwords that can easily be guessed like the name of a football club or fictional characters like superman

• Passwords that don’t include capital letters or special characters

However, consistently using a strong password can make it harder to remember them.

In fact, some reports suggest that the average Brit will waste 11 days and 17 hours remembering and resetting passwords in their lifetime.

In order to make it easier for yourself and your staff to commit to strong passwords you could:

• Introduce them to a trusted strong password generator so they can come up with super strong passwords like 0E$$$42LK7MAgoTriZ#x in seconds.

• Roll out a password manager across the company, so these strong passwords can be safely stored and quickly accessed.

2. Introduce two-factor authentication

In two-factor authentication, employees have to provide two pieces of evidence that prove they are who they say they are before they are given access to their emails or certain apps and websites.

For example, they may enter a password and then add a code that’s only available through an app on their mobile phone.

As a small business, you might think two factor authentication software is beyond your budget.

However, prices start at as little as £2 per employee a month.

Check out options like Okta and YubiKey.

3. Use threat detectors

It’s often easier to prevent a cyber attack than it is to recover from it.

So, while threat detection systems may seem like an expense you can’t afford, they could save you thousands in the long run.

You can get threat detection systems for everything from your company laptops to the websites you run.

At tsoHost, we offer Sucuri for websites.

Sucuri monitors your website for malware and comes with unlimited malware removal and Google blacklist monitoring, too. The top tier packages also give you a Web Application Firewall.

Best of all, Sucuri does the policing and purging for you – saving you time.

4. Take advantage of free training materials

Save time on developing your own cybersecurity material by harnessing the resources that exist on the web already.

The National Cyber Security Centre website is teeming with resources for small to medium businesses.

There are guides to:

• Backing up data

• Protecting your business from malware

• Keeping company smartphones safe

• Using passwords to protect data

• Avoiding phishing

And more.

Plus, of course, you can find a wealth of resources and training materials on the Cybersecurity Month website.

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