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cyber threats facing SMEs

Top 5 tips for avoiding cyber threats

Cyber threats are everywhere, whether you’re working from home or in the office. Cybercriminals aren’t picky when it comes to finding their next target. All they’re looking for is one area of vulnerability in a company’s defences for them to infiltrate and often steal valuable data.

But don’t worry; there are a few key things that everyone in your business can do to boost your protection against cyber threats.

Ratcliff IT - Cyber Threats

1. Password management

We’ve all been tempted to just add a ‘1’ or ‘!’ to the end of the same password that we use for everything. But this is a fundamental error. It just makes hackers’ lives easier. It’s so important to use memorable but varied and complex passwords, especially when accessing business data. Plus, a tip for individuals to follow is to never comment on Facebook posts asking what the name of your first dog and birth month is to reveal your ‘fairy name’ (or something like that). These posts might look like harmless fun, but in reality, they are often used by cybercriminals to trick people into sharing the answers to password security questions.

Ratcliff IT - Password Management

2. Keep everything up to date

Regularly updating your processes, software and solutions will ensure that all bugs, blind spots, and faulty areas are fixed and ready to defend your business from cyber threats. A great way to do this is to get Cyber Essentials certified. This government-backed accreditation will help you to take a full audit of your IT security processes. To maintain your accreditation, you have to reassess your cybersecurity solutions and apply for your re-certification every 12 months.

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3. Know what to look out for

Providing your staff with security awareness training that will enable them to identify phishing emails, scams and malicious content is one of the best things you can do for your business. Your staff are effectively your first line of defence against cyber threats. They’re the ones who can spot and flag suspicious emails before they compromise any systems. And they’re also the ones who are most likely to cause a data breach by accidentally clicking on the wrong link.

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4. Use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Not sure what to add MFA to? The safest bet is to use it on everything that’s valuable to you or holds personal data. When you apply MFA to access, it requires users to confirm their identity by entering a code from another device, email, phone, authenticator app etc. While this is a slight inconvenience for users as it takes a few seconds longer to log in, remember that also means it’s an inconvenience for hackers and is likely to deter them.

Ratcliff IT - Multi-Factor Authentication

5. Get proactive cybersecurity solutions

Typical IT security solutions like antivirus software alone aren’t good enough to protect you from the latest cyber threats. Basic antivirus and firewalls are only able to identify viruses that have already infiltrated your system. Whereas if you work with a managed service provider like Ratcliff IT, we can proactively prevent threats by constantly monitoring your IT 24/7.

Chat with a cybersecurity expert today about receiving your free cybersecurity consultation so you can be aware of the risks facing your business.

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