This is a guest post by Innovate UK

Cyber security is not an issue to take lightly. For modern businesses, cyber-crime poses a largely significant threat. In the UK alone, cyber-crime is said to cost businesses up to £30 billion every year.

This is a worrying statistic for any organisation, and yet many are still afflicted because of outdated or weak security systems.

There are steps businesses can take to protect themselves. By following a fairly simple guideline, your organisation stands a better chance from any potential security breaches.

Here’s our guideline:

Make Sure You’re Fully Aware

By this, we mean it’s important to keep yourself fully informed and up to date on topic of cyber security. It’s advantageous knowing what particular threats your organisation might be dealing with. You can do this thoroughly by completing a cyber security audit.

This understanding leads to better action. Cyber security is not a linear issue – its complexity is what makes it difficult to account for absolutely everything. While software updates may come with more rigorous security measures, it’s not enough to rely on them for your entire business.

A threat can be both internal and external. Backed up data and protected devices are essential, but your employees also play a major part in your security.

Employees can make sloppy mistakes (such as predictable passwords or using unprotected devices) or actively abuse their privileges, leaving the company open to attack.

Making yourself aware of all these factors allows all ground to be covered and your security measures to be stronger.

Security MUST be a Priority

It’s easy to think that once you identify any potential issues you can simply put some measures in place and prevent them from happening.

However, what’s really effective towards achieving this goal is creating a security conscious culture within the workplace.

Raising awareness and informing employees about your risk assessment policy, what potential risks your company faces, and how they can help prevent them will contribute to your increased security.

The key is in making security an absolute priority for your business.

Making sure everyone (employees and other external contacts) understands and complies with the policies in place will help strengthen your security and ideally reduce any sloppy or misjudged decisions.

You Will Be Hacked

This is the mentality you need to adopt.

The biggest mistake many companies make is either assuming the chances are low of anything happening to them, or waiting for evidence to show them otherwise.

By the time you see evidence of a potential threat, a lot of damage can be done in the small window of time you have to address it.

Preparing a worst case scenario will allow you to accurately map out a variety of responses to a myriad of situations. You’ll be over-prepared for any issue that may eventually come your way, which ideally means any reaction or recovery time should be reduced because it’s been prepared for.

Being proactive as opposed to passive will put you in a far stronger position against any cyber-attack that comes your way.

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