Don’t leave your firm vulnerable to cyber-attacks

12 Mar 2018

With recent government figures revealing that the average cost of a cybersecurity breach for a small business is £1,570 and £19,600 for a large firm, having effective measures in place to safeguard your business against cybercrime is crucial.

Accountants and those within the financial services industry may pose an attractive target to cybercriminals: so it’s important that you take adequate steps to stay protected. Here, we take a look at a selection of strategies for you to consider.

The basics

The government’s Cyber Essentials offers business owners advice and support on safeguarding their firm, and recommends that businesses ‘get the basics right’. Your firm should have the following protections and behaviours in place:

1. Download any software updates

It’s vital to keep the software on your company computers, phones, tablets and laptops up to date. Make sure that you install any new updates to your device’s operating system and anti-virus software.

2. Use stronger passwords

Ensure that the passwords you use on your computers, laptops and mobile devices are strong enough. Using a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols within your password will make it more difficult for a criminal to guess. Consider combining three random words to create a memorable and effective password.

3. Always ensure suspicious emails are deleted

If you are unsure about an email, the best course of action is to simply delete it. Be particularly suspicious about emails that include messages asking you to click on a link – these often lead you to a site which will seek to garner your personal information and financial details in order to steal funds.

4. Use suitable anti-virus software

Ensure that the anti-virus software you have installed on your computer, laptop or mobile device is appropriate, and that it adequately protects your firm from unwanted malware and viruses. Some anti-virus is provided for free within popular operating systems. However, office computers may require greater protection, and as such you may wish to invest more in a reliable anti-virus software package.

5. Train your staff

Members of staff should be provided with comprehensive information on the business’s approach to cybersecurity, including how to deal with a suspicious or fraudulent email.

Ensuring you have adequate cybersecurity measures in place is crucial: taking the appropriate action will help to safeguard your business now and in the future.

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