Does size matter? Not when it comes to cyber-crime it doesn’t.

Although the majority of small business believe they are of no consequence to cyber criminals, in reality statistics show that 87% of SME’s came under a cyber-attack in 2013 (according to the Department of Business, Innovations and Skills).

cybercriminalIn fact, cyber criminals will attack wherever they can, so if your defences are low you can expect a visit, regardless of the size of your business. As more and more businesses turn to web and cloud based resources, it becomes even more important to protect yourself and your customers.

The cost, let alone the inconvenience and the privacy issues, is costing millions to US and UK based businesses.

Taking extra protection is essential for all types of businesses, whether you primarily sell online, or you are an online insurance agent using broker software like Insly’s. Implementing some fairly straightforward options is a good starting point, and the following should be installed across your business routinely:

  1. Anti-virus software – not only should it be installed across all your devices that use the internet, but it should be updated on a regular basis and routine scans scheduled. On top of this, make sure you have a network firewall.
  2. Passwords – upgrade your password policy to ensure they are hard to break. Install a system that enforces regular updates and change of password. Ensure your network has a password, as well as all devices, that can be accessed by employees only.
  3. Back up and update – regularly schedule software and devices updates direct from the manufacturer. Back up company data onto an independent secure or encrypted device, or onto a protected cloud server.
  4. Policy – it’s tempting for employees to browse on Facebook and other websites on work devices, but for added security set up a clear policy outlining internet use, and banned websites.

cyberattackUsing cloud based servers, like those favoured by Insly, are generally considered a more secure and safe option. However, don’t assume that all cloud storage is created equal – it isn’t.

Depending on the price and reputation of the company offering the space, and whether it is shared or not, will affect the quality of the security.

Some servers are set up so that when data whizzes between computer and cloud it is encrypted, so if it is accessed on route it is useless to everyone. There are also methods of protecting the data when it arrives at its storage destination.

Businesses can set up who can view the files; private, public or shared. Choose the most appropriate option for you, and set up a strong password on your account. Look also for a provider that offers to encrypt the data, with your username and password being the key to decryption. If in doubt, ask your providers for help and see what is on offer.