Tom Bale, Business Development and Technical Director for Logicalis Channel Islands, explains how to defend yourself from Cyber predators.
Is it time to stop ignoring cyber-security and actually tackle the beast at your door?
The online predators stalking us may be harder to spot than the ones with teeth faced by our ancestors faced at the cave mouth several million years ago, but we still have an inbuilt instinct for dealing with them – Now is the time for that ancient instinct to rise back up!
You can’t make the threat disappear – the predators are sophisticated and there are millions at stake – but you can take steps to make yourself a far less appealing target and that’s where we can help you help yourself.
This March my colleagues and I are hosting an event which will give attendees an insight into what they can do to mitigate risk and how to respond swiftly when things do go wrong so that they can get back to business as soon as possible.
We’ll be concentrating on three key messages at the event:
Defend – Human Firewall
The first thing that you need to know is what your weaknesses lie.
Last year Logicalis global research identified lack of staff awareness and human error as a major security threat to firms. IT professionals surveyed in 2018 reported that the inadvertent threat from staff was second only to malware and ransomware as their biggest security headache.
The good news is this means your first line of defence is one that lies directly in your control – staff training. True cyber risk management needs a human firewall as well as a virtual one.
Investment in training and helping staff become a strength rather than a weakness is vital. The reality for most companies, especially smaller businesses, is that many staff will be working away from a central office most of the time and this means they are likely to be using cloud-based solutions. All of which will be driving efficiency but also making your systems more vulnerable to attack.
The training doesn’t have to be onerous or time-consuming and Logicalis offers online training courses through our partner KnowBe4.
Make sure you and your staff know how to take the obvious steps:
- Download software and app updates so that vital security upgrades are made.
- Use strong passwords. ‘Password’ is not a password.
- Delete suspicious emails
- Use anti-virus software
- Back up important data
This can seem overwhelming, after all the attackers can morph and change identity in a blink and perhaps the biggest reason most people turn away and leave themselves vulnerable is that detection can look like an impossible task.
Our experience, however, is that one step is better than none. It is a continuous process but you can close down avenues without making your business inaccessible.
Think pragmatically about where your customers are and who you do business with. There are jurisdictions which are well-known for being problematic and if you don’t do business there and you’re not likely to then block them.
Of course, you can look at buying a package which takes some of the pain out of detecting threats by doing it for you. In the case of the Cisco Umbrella, for instance, it will prevent users from connecting to dangerous internet IP addresses, such as those known to be linked to criminal activity, botnets and malicious downloads. This means that no matter whether your staff are working in the office or remotely, your system will be secure.
Locking the door on attacks is virtually impossible and so investment in breach management, continuity and recovery support and solutions makes good sense.
Real cyber resilience is what we are all aiming at and that does mean accepting that you can’t keep everything out and knowing that you have a strong plan in place for recovery while maintaining business as usual.
Without a dedicated IT team – and even with one – it can be difficult to know where to start to build a recovery plan and many companies turn to expert third parties like Logicalis to ensure that their strategy is effective and will allow them to get back to normal as soon as possible.