You may remember the major cyber security attack in 2017 ‘WannaCry’, which affected a huge swathe of individuals and organisations, including the NHS, and had a significant financial impact on all those infected. Since then, there has been a growing awareness heightened of cyber security measures and a strategic view by companies of the measures required to operate safely online.
Here are four key takeaways for small businesses to keep safe online and ensure robust cyber security measures are in place.
1. Get a secure internet connection
With hacking attempts becoming ever more common for both small and large businesses as well as individuals, in order to keep safe it is vitally important you use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to secure your internet connection.
VPN’s were originally created for business networks to connect securely over the internet, and so allowing you to access your business network from home, for example or another office location. Because VPN’s were created to be so secure, it is no surprise that it has become more popular since the onslaught of cyber attacks in the last few years.
Learn more here on how to set-up a secure VPN Network.
2. Always use updated versions of software
This may seem like an obvious one, but we strongly recommend that you keep all software up-to-date on your computers, in the comfort that you know that the big software providers, such as Windows, have thousands of developers working behind the scenes to ensure security is tight.
It may be tempting to delay or closed down those pop up windows for software updates, but doing so will leave you vulnerable.
3. Beware of phishing attempts
Most people by now have experienced a ‘Phishing’ email, which is basically an email that appears to be legitimate but is cleverly, and sometimes not so cleverly, disguised. Phishing emails are an attempt to bypass your computer’s security measures leaving you open to attack by hackers who can infect your hardware and steal confidential information.
So we recommend vigilance at all times, and to question the validity of emails before opening or following any links they provide. If you are at all unsure, you should attempt to speak to someone related to the company or person who sent the email for absolute peace of mind.
4. Invest in anti-virus software
Which leads us on to investing in good quality anti-virus software, which will add another layer of protection to phishing and hacker attacks. There are a wealth of anti-virus software providers out there who offer a range of service, so we suggest you research the right anti-virus software for you and review testimonials. For a small business, we suggest you invest in both anti-virus and anti-malware software for full protection for your business’ data. You may even have additional services with software providers who offer software aimed at small businesses, including telephone and online support.
How can we help?
We hope you find the above recommendations practical and easy to implement to get you and your business safe online.
Southside Accountants can support your business growth ambitions and can help you run your business effectively whilst fulfilling your legal and tax obligations as a sole trader or limited company. We strongly recommend you speak with a tax and accounting specialist like Southside Accountants, your local accountants in Wimbledon and London. Please contact us to see how we can help.
Written by Shaima Todd.