First and foremost, don’t be in denial! You are at risk. It happens.
“There are, it is said, two kinds of organisations today. Those who have been hacked – and those who don’t yet know they have been hacked.”
However, the good news is that there are steps you can take to reduce that risk, and other measures you could put in place to mitigate the impact should the worst happen and your security is breached.
Top tips from an expert
There’s plenty of material out there telling you at length what you should be doing to protect your small business from cyber crime. We asked web designer Shaun McElvaine, director of Magnify Creative, what he would suggest as a first line of defence. Here’s what he said:
- Secure, robust website and email hosting
- Strong, frequently-changed passwords on everything (including people’s email accounts)
- Anti-virus on all company computers
In addition, minimising access to financial or other sensitive data and setting up secure, regular, off-site backups so that everything can be restored with minimal downtime.
Education, education, education
Just because we’re dealing with technology risks, it’s a mistake to think that we should only be fighting back with more technology. Effective prevention is as much about education.
- Make sure everyone knows not to open unknown attachments in emails or click on suspect links
- Be wary of social media platforms like Facebook, which is increasingly popular as a marketing channel but is now a prime place for malicious code even in the most harmless-looking ads and game apps
- Watch out for downloaded apps – make sure the company is reputable, with good security in place to avoid malware infections.
Good old-fashioned (or new tech!) common-sense is the order of the day, much like remembering to lock your office door and set the burglar alarm.
It’s not all doom and gloom – there’s real progress out there in the world of technology, reducing the risk to computing security. The crucial thing is to use it!
Part 4 in the series will look at cyber crime liability insurance
 Gareth Jones: Understanding the impact of cyber and information risk: Zurich Insurance and Guardian News & Media.