Cybercrime …Gone are the days when the “bad guys” were the thugs walking around with a baseball bat checking for security guards before they busted a window and made off with one of your computers. While it’s true this type of crime may have put a dent in your profits and was a definite inconvenience, it certainly didn’t mean the end for your business.

These days however, the thugs are getting smarter and using their brains to find businesses to brawl with. Cybercrime is on the rise and these skilled tech pros have the ability to write and code viruses that can infect a business’s computer network and do serious damage to your business infrastructure.

Cyber criminals want valuable data: Social Security and credit card numbers, bank account information, email addresses, home addresses, birth dates and more. With this loot, they can take over existing accounts or open new ones to make fraudulent charges. After gathering email addresses, they can conduct phishing operations.

Hackers seek out weaknesses, targeting vulnerable employees with social-engineering scams and outdated operating systems or browsers. With the right forensic analysis tools, these Cybercriminals can hack into a hard drive in minutes and have access to a treasure trove of data, including passwords, browser history, downloaded email messages, chat logs and even old documents that may have been previously deleted.

So how can you limit the risk of Cybercrime?

1. Know your enemy

Having your anti-virus and security software up to date is one of the easiest and most critical steps you can take to keep your site safe. Hackers take advantage of outdated security, and can locate vulnerable sites very quickly.

2. High performance network

Data and network cabling form the basis for most businesses to communicate through voice and data. A high performance network is imperative in ensuring the efficiency of these services over a structured network and also for the long term growth and expansion of your business.

3. Keep your “error” messages short and sweet

Use non-specific messages that do not give details as to why logins failed. If you do this it will prevent hackers from being able identify any weak spot in your server or system, and so they won’t be able to take advantage of the opportunity to cause harm.

4. Establish and enforce secure password procedures

When your company’s site is up and running, you probably want to give your employees access to various areas of the site. These areas should be password-protected, and employees should know how to choose strong passwords. Having passwords that are difficult to guess can go a long way in protecting your company’s online accounts and other critical information stored electronically.

5. Restrict software and set up administrative rights

By doing this it really limits what people can do on your network so that nothing can be installed on company computers without authorisation.

6. Offer training

Role-based access control of employees prevents internal breaches of potentially sensitive information being accessed. Staff education in regards to cyber security and organisational standard operating procedures is also key in order to have higher levels of security.

7. Create a disaster recovery plan.

While the above steps certainly help prevent the likelihood of a cyber-attack, they’re not fool proof. In the event that your company does suffer an attack, are you ready to respond? Include all necessary steps for responding to and recovering from a cyber-attack in a disaster recovery plan. Develop a communications plan so everyone in the company knows whom the spokesperson is, who makes the calls, what the talking points are, when customers should be notified, etc.

Cybercrime is a big concern for many small firms. Offences against business are estimated to make up a whopping 20% of all recorded crime in the UK, with cybercrime alone costing UK businesses in excess of £21bn a year. Meanwhile criminals are continually looking for more ingenious ways to rob honest, hardworking business owners.

If you are looking for the best way to protect your business from Cybercrime, then please contact us for some free expert advice on 0800 505 3350