Why no business is safe from cybercrime in 2023
Did you know that, according to the Cyber Security Breaches Survey by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), 39% of all UK businesses were targeted by cybercriminals in 2022? As cybercriminals continue to adapt the ways they target our personal data, the need for businesses to revise and tighten their cybersecurity becomes more vital.
Why the risk of cybercrime is increasing
It’s not only larger corporations that are the target of cyberattacks. In fact, in recent years SMEs have become an increasing focus for cybercriminals.
In 2020, COVID 19 pushed many more SMEs to become more reliant on technology, highlighting the need to revisit their cybersecurity. For many, SMEs had to move faster than they were prepared for, which meant their systems became vulnerable to cybercriminals.
For many businesses, a cyberattack is a big issue. For SMEs, the consequences can be devastating and lead to the loss of data, financial repercussions, significant periods of downtime and reputational damage.
Without a cyber security strategy in place, your business is at risk. There’s no time like the present to put a plan in place and ensure your colleagues are aware of the risks and procedures required to protect your business.
Consider cybersecurity for your business
So, you want to start putting these measures in place but don’t know where to start? Your first point of call is to plan out your strategy step by step. It’s essential that you pinpoint exactly what you need to do to get to where you need to be.
Start off by outlining all of the data you hold that needs protecting against cyberattacks and what you need to do to keep this data secure.
No matter what cybersecurity measures you have in place, no business is safe against cybercrime. One of the most important things you can do to avoid being targeted is to ensure that your staff are kept in the loop with regular training. Your team need to be aware of the real risks that you face and the actions they need to take in their day-to-day work to help minimise cyber threats.
Ensure to safely back up key information and data so if you are targeted, you can retrieve any lost or encrypted information. Make sure that every device linked to your business is protected with up-to-date anti-virus software, and your office Wi-Fi should be encrypted. All passwords should be changed regularly, and all company systems protected by a firewall.
Using Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) to safeguard your business
Multi-Factor Authentication requires system users to go through two layers of identification to access control of a system. Think about the systems you access regularly. Your ATM for example, the first layer of identification is your debit card, the second is your PIN. Or when you enter your credit card details online, each piece of information you provide is a separate layer of authentication, including your card number, expiry date and security code. Many providers also ask you to verify the purchase using an app – another layer of authentication.
Something you know, something you have, something you are
Multi-Factor Authentication is sometimes referred to as:
Something you know: A username or password
Something you have: Verification text on a mobile, key fob
Something you are: Biometric authentication, including fingerprint or retina scans
Multi-factor authentication is successfully enabled when at least two of these categories are required to successfully verify someone’s identity before gaining access to a system.
Why is it important?
Multi-Factor Authentication is important as it helps to make sure that a business’s IT systems remain secure, along with its customer and staff data. It effectively makes accessing it more difficult for cybercriminals to target your business. The harder your systems are to access, the less of a target you will be. It also helps to target natural human error – are your employees using the same passwords for everything? The more stringent password policies you set, the more time your IT team will spend resetting them – Multi-Factor Authentication helps to remove this pressure.
What it means for your Cyber Insurance
Multi-Factor Authentication isn’t currently a requirement for all insurers who provide Cyber Insurance policies, but it is heading in that direction. Cyber Insurance claims are being made thick and fast and many of these start with compromised passwords or IDs. It’s your responsibility as a business to ensure that you have sufficient levels of cyber security in place to prevent such an attack from happening and Multi-Factor Authentication is a simple and low cost way to improve your cyber security.