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You are here: News » Archived News » The ever-increasing threat of cybercrime, and how to keep your business safe

The ever-increasing threat of cybercrime, and how to keep your business safe

Cyber hacking

In a world in which technology is at the forefront of almost everything we do, many do not understand the threat cybercrime poses on their business, regardless of their size.

There is a common misconception amongst many small-medium sized businesses that they are not at risk of being attacked and that it is only multinationals or governments that are being targeted in these online crimes. Times have changed, and cybercriminals are focusing their attacks onto smaller businesses in more sophisticated ways than ever before.

By definition, cybercrime is ‘criminal activity carried out by means of computers or the internet’. The efficiency of cybercriminals carrying out these online attacks is increasing at a rapid rate, with many methods of gaining information available at their disposable.

One of the most common, damaging forms of cybercrime that is affecting companies regardless of their size is ransomware. Ransomware is a form of malware that holds a victim’s information at ransom. It is a virus that uses encryption to hold a victim’s data hostage. Crucial information of an organisation is encrypted by these hackers, to make it impossible for a company to regain access to files, databases, or apps. A ransom is then demanded for a company to regain access to their files, which is almost always a large fee that can prove very costly for many businesses.

Over the past 12 months over £15 billion has been paid out by businesses to cybercriminals, with this figure expected to rise to almost £200 billion by 2031. On average a company is affected every 11 seconds, with catastrophic consequences for many, who simply cannot afford to pay these cybercriminals their demands to recover their data.

Every day in the UK around 65,000 cyber-attacks are attempted on small to medium-sized businesses, and as IT support with a specialist cybercrime team, Nybble can offer the best advice and support to help ensure your business does not fall victim to one of these attacks.

So – what can you do to minimise the threats?

Don’t be lazy with your passwords

Put more effort into your passwords. First, the simpler a password is, the easier a hacker can gain access. To create a difficult password, you need at least 10 characters with a combination of upper and lower case, numbers and special characters. Avoid dictionary words, personal information, usernames or ID’s, and anything that’s obfuscated with simple algorithms like backward spelling or words with punctuation in between.

Additionally, it’s bad practice to use the same password across multiple accounts. Reusing a password means that when one company has a data breach, your other accounts could then be compromised as well. Consider using a secure password manager which will manage all your passwords for different accounts.

Enable 2-factor authentication

Many platforms now allow you to enable 2-factor authentication to keep your accounts secure. It’s another layer of protection that helps verify that it’s actually you who is accessing your account and not someone who’s unauthorised. Enable this security feature whenever you can and especially if you use Microsoft 365.

Use anti-virus and anti-malware

As long as you’re connected to the web, it’s impossible to have complete and total protection from malware. However, you can significantly reduce your vulnerability by ensuring you have an anti-virus and anti-malware software installed on your computer.

Invest in security upgrades

Invest in security upgrades such as firewalls and computer security software additional to traditional anti-virus software. It’s better to eat the costs of security to avoid paying for the consequences of a breach.

Back up important data

Important data can be lost because of a security breach. To ensure that you are prepared to restore data once it’s lost, you should frequently back up your important information to the cloud. If you use Microsoft 365 don’t assume your data is backed up by Microsoft as it isn’t and requires a third-party solution.

Keep software up to date

Software companies typically provide updates for three reasons: to add new features, fix known bugs and upgrade security. Always update to the latest version of your software to protect yourself from new or existing security vulnerabilities.

Avoid opening suspicious emails

If an email looks suspicious, don’t open it because it might be a phishing scam. Someone might be impersonating another individual or company to gain access to your information. Sometimes the emails may also include attachments or links that can infect your devices.

Check links before you click

Links can easily be disguised as something they’re not, so it’s best to double check before you click on the link. On most browsers, you can see the target URL by hovering over the link. Do this to check links before you click on them.

Scan external storage devices for viruses

External storage devices are just as prone to malware as internal storage devices. If you connect an infected external device to your computer, the malware can spread. Always scan external devices for malware before accessing them.

Double check for HTTPS on websites

When you’re on a website that isn’t using HTTPS, there’s no guarantee that the transfer of information between you and the server is secure. Double-check that a site’s using HTTPS before you give away company or personal information.

Train employees

The key to making cybersecurity work is to make sure your employees are well trained and consistently exercising security best practices. One mistake from an improperly trained employee can cause an entire security system to crumble.

Trust Nybble as your Cyber Security Partner

Whilst there are procedures within your organisation that you can put in place to help reduce the threat of these attacks, they will remain a major threat to your organisation, as the technology available to cybercriminals continues to develop, meaning that the likeliness of your business being struck is increasing all the time.

This mixed with the prospect of a cyber war (as both the UK and US government have recently noted is a possibility as tensions rise in eastern Europe) it is more important than ever to ensure your company is backed up with a cyber defence plan.

As an IT company that knows the threat and magnitude that cybercriminals conduct, Nybble understand the importance of ensuring their clients have the appropriate measurements in place. We stay up to date with all the latest cyber security technology to ensure our clients remain safe against the threat of an online attack. To further your trust that you are in capable hands with Nybble, we have achieved accreditation in Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus.

Cyber Essentials is a government-backed and industry-supported scheme that helps businesses protect themselves against the growing threat of cyber-attacks and provides a clear statement that they have industry-leading procedures in place to best ensure their clients do not become victims to these attacks.

Nybble are also strategic IT partners for the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, proving you can be assured that you will receive professional, high-quality advice at all times.

Trust Nybble.co.uk as your cyber security partner and gain peace of mind that your business is secure against the rising threat of cybercrime.

Find out more about how we can help with Cyber Security:
https://www.nybble.co.uk/it-solutions/managed-it/managed-security-anti-virus/

Phone: 0330 002 0886

Email: enquiries@nybble.co.uk

nybble.co.uk

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