Sometimes, we look at the cost of a product or service and think, "Ooo, that looks expensive", but is it? Really? Cybersecurity is one of those areas where many companies, especially in SME businesses, where owners, directors or managers say, "It won't happen to me!" But when it does, the IT provider is often held accountable for the client's failings.
"Network security comes in many forms and many breaches start with phishing emails!"
This is one of the most cost-effective changes a business can make. Off-site scanning services such as Mimecast, Cisco Cloud Security, Barracuda, Proofpoint and the market leader Trend Micro all offer a service where the incoming emails pass through their servers which sniff out any potential threats. They look for dodgy links and some (like Trend) even analyse the style of words and language contained within the email.
Another security consideration are Firewalls. These are either hardware or software (the best are a combination of both) designed to minimise the attacks against your networks. Like anything else, there are cheap, cost-effective solutions and very expensive appliances offering the best protection.
Hardware security companies such as Sonicwall, Watchguard, Barracuda and Sophos all offer a physical box that has sophisticated monitoring of all the network equipment, including Wi-Fi equipment.
"Most companies have firewalls, but just don't know it!"
This is where your IT provider comes into play. They are the experts so will give you the best advice as long as their industry training is up-to-date. We are in a rapidly changing world and for IT professionals, it's a daily challenge of education, education, education of helping to secure your business against cyber threats.
On a personal level, beware of the new types of scams designed to rob you of your hard-earned money. Have you received any text messages from Royal Mail lately? There have been recent incidents of asking recipients to pay for excess postage by clicking a link.
I recently heard of one chap who fell for it and paid the £2.99 excess, supposedly to the Royal Mail and had his bank account cleared out at 2am the following Saturday. He was asleep at the time and didn't notice all the transactions going out until he woke up and checked his phone. He lost over £400 in just a few hours and the scammer got a load of expensive new clothes and shoes.
Another scam is a phone call from your bank (an actor posing as your bank of course!), to say that there is fraudulent activity on your account and they are setting up a new account to transfer your money into ... talk about reverse psychology! The new account is actually the scammer's own bank account and hey presto ... your money is gone! Thankfully, banks do refund the losses, but be warned, this will be on a case-by-case basis.
"Do you ever logon to free WiFi at any venues?"
There is an abundance of free WiFi service around, but did you know that some of these could be fake? Imagine, you are in a café and you search for a WiFi service. You pick the strongest signal, follow the login instructions and start using your Internet banking service. All the while, a hacker sitting in a van outside, sending out a fake WiFi signal, and capturing your login details to your account.
We are in a very complex world and therefore we may be easily be led down the wrong road at any time. In the digital world, never has this saying been truer.: "A little knowledge is a very dangerous thing" so please consult your IT provider or invest in a one-off independent audit of all your IT systems and even a penetration test to ensure the firewall defences in your business are working correctly.
As always, don't get caught out.
Until next time ...
Would you like to know more?
If anything I've written in this blog post resonates with you and you'd like to discover more about cybersecurity for your business, it may be a great idea to get in touch with me on 01604 926100 or take a look at my website which you can find by clicking here.
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Where do we start? Simple terms like 'IT' and 'Telecoms'? or terms that appear NOT to have an actual meaning at all!, e.g. 'Internet of Things (IoT).
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