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Keeping your business secure online

Technology has massively changed the way we do business. While in some ways it has expanded a business’ reach, it also can open us up to potential hazards and cyber attacks. In this blog we will highlight some potential weak areas, and how to ensure you keep your business secure.

Potential weak areas

Passwords – Passwords should be used to access your network and it is good practice to use them for each application which carries sensitive or confidential data. Passwords should never be written down and should be changed regularly. It is usually possible to set your system so that it requires the password to be changed at regular intervals. Passwords should never be shared and should be a mixture of lower and uppercase letters and numbers.

Disk and Drives – Devices such as DVDs, USB sticks and discs can pose a risk. They can introduce viruses into your computers or be mislaid. Where possible ensure disks and drives are used only on business computers and not on third party computers. If these drives do need to be used in third party computers install anti-virus software on them and scan drives whenever they are used in the office. To protect potentially sensitive data from being lost keep a log of who has possession of drives at any time and check all documents are deleted from them after each use.

Mobile Devices – Ensure you use the passcode function on mobile phones for gaining access and apply the setting that automatically locks the device after a certain period of time. It is also important to be aware of the dangers of unencrypted public Wi-Fi. When using public Wi-Fi check the hotspot is genuine. Also check that file sharing is turned off and your firewall is turned on.

Devices outside the office – You may have employees working outside of the office using laptops, tablets, mobile phones etc. and these devices also need to be secure. Staff should make sure the devices are always kept on their persons or locked away out of sight, for example in a car boot, and are not left out in plain sight. Devices should never be left in a vehicle overnight. You should have the facility to remote wipe a device should it be lost or stolen. Many newer devices have this feature inbuilt although software can be installed to older devices to add this function.

Banking – Your bank will never ask for your PIN number or password. There are no exceptions to this, regardless of how genuine the fraudsters may appear. If you have any doubts end the communication and contact your bank directly. Ensuring you use your usual contact number or the details printed on your bank statement or card.

Change of bank details – Fraudsters contact a business claiming to be from an existing supplier and advising that the bank details for paying invoices should be changed. If you receive such a communication it should be scrutinised for authenticity. You should not amend any payment details until you are satisfied it is genuine. We recommend that details are checked by contacting the business directly using existing contact details you hold.

Being aware of potential weak areas and following these simple tips consistently will help you and your business stay secure online and protect your personal data.




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