According to Companies House, between April and June 2018, there were 166,886 incorporations within the UK, this is a huge number of new companies that are being formed. This figure is increasing on year on year. However, one aspect that a lot of newly formed companies don’t consider from the outset is Cyber Security.
It’s a known fact that implementing a new feature, procedure or policy is much easier from the start than trying to retrofit it into the business once its been trading for a prolonged period. However, implementing and/or enhancing your cyber security should be one of the first things on your list when building out your project/business plan.
Here are a few tips to help you improve your overall cyber security stance as a start up or newly formed SME.
- Passwords: When you start a new business, you’ll be creating new logins all for numerous services, whether this is companies house, social media, accountancy applications, they all need a username and password. Look at using a password manager from day one and use unique strong passwords for every site that you create. Software such as 1Password, LastPass, KeyPass can help you start.
- Encryption: Personal information and your intellectual property is key to ensuring you keep a business. You should ensure that your hard drives are fully encrypted as soon as you start using a computer which has personal information on it. With the newer version of Windows, this can be BitLocker, or another product such as ESET Encryption. Encrypting a drive ensures that no one can read it, which shouldn’t, especially if your machine is lost or stolen.
- Regular updates: Make sure that you keep all your devices and software fully up to date, having insecure software can but your device and business at risk. Configure your software to update automatically, if possible.
- Cyber Essentials: The Cyber Essentials scheme is a best practice certification from NCSC, this allows you to not only obtain a Certification, but it also checks to make sure you are implementing the best practices to keep your business safe. TeraByte are a certification body for this scheme, if you are interested contact us for more information.
- User awareness training: Make sure that you and your staff are trained up with the basics of staying safe and keeping your business safe. Look to see how you can identify phishing emails and know about not clicking on links or emails that may not be safe.
- Anti-virus: Make sure that you have anti-virus and anti-malware software installed, that it is configured to update automatically and scan files all the time. You should never disable or turn this software off.
The list can go on and on but ensuring that you have the above basic steps in place when you first start your business will put you ahead of the malicious people who may be looking to target a business which doesn’t have the most basic controls in place.
TeraByte is a cyber security company who provide products and services to help small and medium business stay safe, from EndPoint security products, to penetration tests and cyber essentials certifications, we have a solution that fits all businesses.