Protect your business online

10 cyber security tips to protect your business online


Small business owners can't assume a cyber attack won't happen to them. The 2017 Cyber Security Breaches Survey shows that just under half of all businesses were able to identify at least one cyber security breach or attack in the last 12 months.

Clearly, no business is immune to cyber risk irrespective of their size and industry. But all businesses can alleviate some of the risks by taking simple steps to protect themselves and their organisation online. Here are some of the things that you can do:

1. Make regular backups of your key systems and data. Keep copies securely off-site and check that they work.

2. Apply any new security patches for your operating system, web browser and all other software on your devices to keep them secure. In many case you can set the software to auto update its self or download the software patches manually.

3. Install and regularly update anti-virus and anti-malware software on all your devices.

4. Use strong passwords and change them regularly. Also, consider using two factor authentication for added security.

5. Use different passwords for different websites/services or consider using a reputable password management tool.

6. Encrypt any sensitive data and do not send passwords or other sensitive data via email unencrypted.

7. To protect against phishing or ransomware be cautious of clicking on links sent to you within emails, social media website/apps or unfamiliar websites.

8. Use a firewall and check that your internet router/firewall has the latest firmware installed.

9. If you operate a Wi-Fi network make sure it is encrypted (eg WPA2) and regularly change the Wi-Fi password.

10. Use a VPN (virtual private network) if you are accessing your systems over public Wi-Fi or insecure network.

You can also consider other common cyber security measures to help you increase the resilience of your business.

Best practices for cyber security in business can help you devise a strategy on cyber risk management, including breach detection and planning incident response.

Finally, for additional direction, the National Cyber Security Centre has outlined top tips for staying safe online and provided guidance on the 10 steps to cyber security.