The recent increase in IT security fears

The recent increase in IT security fears

With the number of recent high profile cases involving cyber threats and hacking, security is still high on most businesses agenda when it comes to ICT. Many businesses have security solutions in place on their systems but don’t check or update their functionality as often as they should.

The latest high profile attack happened this week and affected businesses across the world. It has now emerged that security researchers have discovered a “vaccine” for the attack which can stop it from infecting a machine. This attack hit banks in Ukraine, oil firms in Russia and hospitals in the US, demonstrating that any organisation can be at risk.

So what do I do to protect our IT network?

There are a number of ways to help diminish the likelihood of a cyber-attack on your network. Most are obvious things to do and can be done internally whilst some may require some expert advice and support.

The first thing to do is educate staff on potential threats. If your staff are aware of the possible dangers then they are less likely to become victims themselves and, subsequently, the business. It is also worthwhile reviewing your company policies and procedures to ensure that criminals cannot exploit internal systems.

A key tool to use is a firewall. These can stop potential threats from happening before they even reach your business. The people or groups behind the attacks will scan your internet connection regularly and if weaknesses are found then they will attempt to exploit. A firewall will help combat this.

Although this may be real basic level stuff and very much common sense, have anti-virus software on every machine in your organisation is essential. You can have all the awareness in the world for how to prevent an attack but if your machine doesn’t have basic anti-virus software then you are leaving your machine and IT network open to exposure. If possible, use a program that includes a firewall and threat monitoring tool.

What if our IT network still gets hacked?

All of the above will help to reduce the possibility of an attack in your business, but the stark reality is nothing is 100% guaranteed when it comes to ICT security. If attacks, or attempts, are happening in your business then it is worthwhile speaking to a dedicated ICT expert. There may be something simple that is being overlooked or not implemented correctly.

Consider the potential cost in terms of time and money that an attack could have on your business. Now is that figure worth ensuring you have maximum protection against?

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