Does your business have the skills needed to tackle cybercrime?

According to the latest figures, last year, almost half of all British businesses were targeted by cybercriminals. What’s more, between 2016 and 2017, the number of firms affected increased from 24% to 46%.

In the vast majority of successful attacks, cybercriminals exploit fundamental weaknesses in IT. And, according to analysis by The Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), most businesses that fell prey to cybercriminals could have mitigated such attacks if they had deployed the right level of preparation.

So, if we are making it too easy for cybercriminals, what can we do to help stop them in their tracks?

Increase awareness

According to research by KPMG, 51% of small businesses believe hackers won’t target them. But this isn’t the case. Hackers are now actively targeting smaller companies, often because they don’t have the necessary levels of protection in place.

Implement training

Today, the vast majority of security breaches in the UK start with human error. This proves that employees aren’t getting the training necessary. As such, your workforce should receive adequate training and ongoing support in how to securely use business systems and processes.

Invest in technology

Training is important. But it must happen in conjunction with preventative measures such as protecting accounts with two-factor authentication and implementing anti-spoofing controls and filters.

Create a cyber-aware culture

It’s vital that all your staff understand that, in 2018 and beyond, information security is everybody’s responsibility. To maximise buy-in, forgo boring PowerPoint presentations and tick-box training session for more engaging hands-on exercises that get people thinking.

Implement the Cyber Essentials scheme

Cyber Essentials is a certification scheme backed by the government. It is designed to help businesses uncover risks that they may not otherwise be aware of and guard against the most common cyber threats. When implemented correctly, Cyber Essentials should prevent 80% of cyber-attacks.

The Cyber Essentials scheme is available for organisations of all types and sizes. It suggests a number of steps to help you prepare against hackers. So you get the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing your business has identified and mitigated any data security vulnerabilities and is ready to deal with the most common cyber threats.

Protecting your firm against cybercrime can seem like a daunting challenge, but a few easy and inexpensive steps can help.

Visit the Cyber Essentials website to access simple cybersecurity tips you can put into practice now.