Outmanoeuvring cyber threats

At a recent business breakfast the host, who runs an excellent programme of informative talks, expressed frustration at a perceptively smaller turnout than usual to a presentation on cyber security. He felt that many business owners and senior managers were apathetic to cyber security and as such left themselves vulnerable.

The talk at the moment is all about cyber crime, with businesses large and small falling victim at an alarming rate. You'd be hard-pressed to find any Internet user who hasn't had a site or password compromised by low security priorities. The lightning speed at which the world has embraced the Internet has left so many vulnerabilities that the path to success for the cyber criminal has been as easy as a hot knife through butter.

So why bother?

With the clamour of 'panic stations' that's ringing out at the moment it's not really surprising that businesses assume that it is pointless to even try defending themselves and should instead start investing in Bitcoin. It's not apathy or disinterest they're suffering from, it's a weary acceptance and sense of futility.

Getting real

In truth, it's time to change people's mindset about this. Nobody can do business without the Internet, so it's time to stop treating it like a complicated new-fangled thingy that we don't understand. 

Investment in up to date IT infrastructure and software patches, a security suite that covers every potential threat vector and staff awareness are key. Please give your staff the chance to understand what the threat looks like - an uneducated workforce is your weakest link, an engaged and informed one is a strong line of defence.

You may be unlucky, but you don't need to be unprepared. Give yourself an understanding of what a cyber attack would do to your ability to trade and put in place a backup and disaster recovery solution that can keep that disruption to an absolute minimum.

Choose your provider well

All this talk of all the terrible things that can happen, how easy it is to fall victim and how difficult it is to recover from an attack is causing a wall of white noise rendering the audience deaf to the message that defence is possible. Look for an IT partner who tells you straight that there are no magic bullets or easy answers, but who can calmly walk you through the possible vulnerabilities in your company and offer sensible, affordable solutions for them.

Posted by Kirsty McIntosh on Wednesday, June 15, 2016

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