McAfee predicts a more interconnected world by 2019: 4 billion users, 6.9 billion smartphone connections, 24.4 billion IP-connected devices, 44.0 zettabytes of data, and even 168.0 exabytes per month in IP traffic. This growing interconnection of users, devices and data will boost businesses and information sharing across the world.
There is a downside to this, however: more users, devices and networks mean a larger surface for cyber attacks.
Strengthen your security defences
You can do your part in the fight against cyber crime. All you have to do is build up effective cyber security measures to protect your company and secure your information. Just make sure you follow these five best practices:
1 – Adopt a security configuration management process
When they’re first installed, computers and network devices come with default passwords and configurations that are often readily available to criminals. It’s good practice to configure these devices to eliminate this inherent vulnerability and to make sure they provide only the service required – a tablet used for collecting feedback during trade shows doesn’t need software for accessing confidential documents, does it?
2 – Use boundary firewalls
Constantly monitor traffic to your website and make sure attackers and other external threats don’t access your system. A properly installed firewall monitors all network traffic and has the ability to identify and block unwanted and harmful access.
3 – Manage access control and administrative privileges
A well-established access control management system helps you protect user accounts and reduces the impact of insider threats. By assigning special access privileges to authorised individuals only, you are in control of who can access what in your organisation –low-level staff in the customer service department don’t need access to confidential budget information, do they?
4 – Patch software
Any software is prone to technical vulnerabilities that can be easily exploited by cyber criminals before you even know. By adopting a patch management system, you are sure your software and applications are always up to date and protected against the latest vulnerabilities.
5 – Implement anti-malware software
Firewalls don’t protect against malicious content on websites or hidden in emails, that’s why you need anti-malware software running on any device to keep them and their content secure.
Now prove your cyber security credentials by applying for Cyber Essentials certification
If you didn’t know, successfully implementing the above best practices gives you the opportunity to apply for certification to the government’s Cyber Essentials scheme. Being Cyber Essentials certified, you will benefit from:
- increased cyber security;
- UK Government-backed assurance of your cyber security credentials;
- enhanced reputation over your competitors;
- new commercial opportunities by proving to your customers and suppliers that you are taking cyber security seriously.
Following a self-assessment questionnaire and an external scan of your system and network for vulnerabilities, you will be awarded the Cyber Essentials badge (with an additional internal scan, you can receive the Cyber Essentials Plus badge).
Hundreds of companies have already adopted this UK Government-backed scheme. Discover whether your competitors have more cyber security credentials than you!