Protection from cyber criminals

How to defend yourself against cybercriminals

Instances of penetration of companies’ network security by a cybercriminal are on the rise, and business leaders are increasingly concerned about it. PwC’s 2015 US State of Cybercrime Survey, which quizzed 500 US executives, security experts, and others from the public and private sectors, revealed that 76% of respondents were “more concerned about cybersecurity threats” than in the previous 12 months. Cyberattacks can directly harm your business, your employees and customers, can affect your brand reputation and even result in regulatory breaches. Here are four key measures you can take to maximize your network security and protect your business against attacks by a cybercriminal.

  1. Passwords – A robust password policy lies at the heart of any good network security plan. All business PCs, laptops and mobile devices that connect to your business network should be password protected, and passwords should ideally be strong and difficult to crack, and changed frequently – for example once a month. All employees should be made aware of the vital importance of password security.
  1. Software – Ensure your systems are protected as fully as possible with strong firewall, antivirus and anti-malware software, set to run regular scans. These packages – as well as your operating system, web browsers and any other software on your machines – should be set to update automatically; a cybercriminal may be able to exploit unpatched security holes in out-of-date software in order to breach your network security.
  1. Network security – Always ensure your Wi-Fi network is secured. Wireless routers aren’t all automatically set up to encrypt your signal, so make sure encryption is turned on. You should also consider changing the displayed network name from the default setting for further protection.
  1. Backups – Regular data backups should be a fundamental element of your business’s risk management and contingency planning strategies. Whether this takes the form of on-site backup drives, off-site archiving or even a cloud-based storage solution, you should always have confidence that you will be able to retrieve crucial business data in the event of a network attack by a cybercriminal.