How SMEs can fight off cyber attacks

June 28, 2018

Cyber attacks are becoming an increasing problem for many businesses. Ransomware has proven to be one of the most significant threats. In 2017, there was a 91% increase in ransomware attack attempts.
The 2017 NHS attack caused mass disruption for many patients. If a government institution like the NHS can be affected by cyber criminal activities what chances do smaller companies have? Luckily, there are many ways to help guarantee that an SME is safe online. Here are some useful tips to keep a business from falling foul of cyber attacks:

1. Keep your software up to date

The WannaCry ransomware attack on the NHS could have been prevented if their systems were kept up to date. Outdated software leads to vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers. For this reason, it is essential a company’s computer system is updated regularly. Retail companies should ensure their card payment processing hardware and software are up to modern standards as well.

2. Be wary of cloud computing

Cloud computing is one of the most popular ways for a company to store their data. In one survey it was found that 81% of workloads are processed using this technology. It saves on having to buy expensive hardware and allows staff to access files while on the go. However, there have been several data leaks from cloud companies in recent years. The most publicised of these is the Apple iCloud hack of 2014. Businesses should not stop using cloud technology. For many, it is an essential part of corporate life. Ending its use would be nearly as disruptive as a cyber attack itself. However, when first choosing a cloud company it is important to ask them what contingencies they have in place to keep your confidential data safe.

3. Keep staff well informed

In order to decrease cyber attacks, some companies have relied on intranet networks to cut off access from external users. However, this does not mean their systems are completely safe. All it takes is for one staff member to open a suspicious attachment for the entire system to be compromised. Therefore, all workers should be trained on how to safely use a company’s computing system.