Five Simple Steps To Minimize The Risk Of A Cyber-Attack

November 28th, 2014

In the past year some of the biggest companies and organisations in the world have fallen victim to cyber attacks. These include Apple, Twitter, Facebook, The New York Times and even government agencies have fallen victim.

While big companies make the news headlines, the real targets are small business

While big companies make the news headlines, the real targets are small businesses just like yours.  According to the 2013 Internet Security Threat Report from Symantec, there was a 42 percent increase in targeted attacks in 2012, and 32 percent of all attacks were aimed at businesses with fewer than 250 employees.  Quite surprisingly then most business of this size believe they are to small to come under attack but they are actually the easiest to target.

Most businesses are reliant on the internet and technology nowadays. However there are some simple steps that you can take to make sure you do not become a victim of a cyber attck.


  1. Create strong passwords. 

Don’t use the same password over and over again and don’t use one that is easy to guess.  The longer your password the better, as it makes it more difficult for people to hack. Experts recommend a minimum of 12 characters if the site allows with a combination of numbers and letters.

Downloading a password management program is a secure way to store your passwords. We would recommend not storing your passwords on your computer/laptop as this makes it easier for the hacker to access them.

  1. Log-off. 

One of the simplest ways for a cyber-criminal to access your proprietary information is from your computer or mobile device when you forget to log off.  A cyber-criminal can easily and quickly access account information, log-ins, and even financial information if you fail to log off your device.  It only takes a few seconds to log off so you could end up saving yourself alot of trouble

  1. Update systems.

Cyber-attackers are really smart. What you need to realize is that as soon as you have updated your anti-virus software, web browser and operating systems, the cyber-criminals are already devising new methods to steal your information.  To protect yourself, you need to make sure you’re regularly updating everything.  This should be a priority and something that you will do later

  1. Regular backups.

Even if you do everything right, there is still a risk of becoming the victim of a cyber-attack.  Make backup copies of all important business data such as financial information, word documents, electronic copies of legal documents, databases, and customer account information.  If possible, set your systems to back-up automatically, however if this is not possible make sure you do it at least once a week.

  1. Limit employee access. 

Only allow access to information to certain people, so limit your critical data access to those who truly need it. Make sure those who do have this information, have unique passwords that are changed at least every 90 days.  And don’t allow anyoneto install a software program without your permission.

A determined hacker can most likely crack any system, but why make it easy for them.  These simple steps can minimize your risk and help you maintain information private.

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