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Cyber Security: Getting the basics right

Andy Watterson is the Digital Economy Fellow in the Chamber Network and is advising businesses on how best to protect against cyber attacks.

The impact of a cyber breach or attack can be significant. Not only is there the direct cost of down time caused by a cyber incident, there’s also the cost of fixing your systems, the potential loss of customers, loss of e-commerce revenue, and damage to your reputation to name but a few.

According to the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2017, nearly half of all businesses (46%) reported a cyber breach or attack in the past 12 months, yet the majority of businesses are still not implementing even the basic safeguards to protect themselves.

This is especially concerning, given that as much as 80% of all cyber-attacks could have been prevented simply by implementing these very basic measures.

The good news is that these basic steps to protect your business do not have to take a lot of time, work or money.

Here at BCC we would like to encourage all our members across the network to do two simple things which can help improve their online security

  1. Install the latest software and app updates
  2. Use strong passwords, especially on your email accounts.

Next Steps

Once you and your staff are taking these two key actions, there’s a range of Government-approved guidance you can follow to further protect your business, including this handy infographic.

Cyber Security: a guide for small businesses

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has released a handy guide, containing simple, practical and relatively low-cost advice on how to improve cyber security in your organisation.

The guide contains five quick and easy steps which can save you time, money, protect your business’ reputation and significantly reduce the chances of your business becoming a victim of cyber crime.

Cyber Security: Small Business Guide

Cyber Essentials

Most cyber-attacks exploit basic vulnerabilities in IT systems and software. You can prevent these by using Cyber Essentials, which sets out five controls to significantly reduce your company’s vulnerability to cyber attacks. The scheme is suitable for organisations of all sizes, in all sectors.

Cyber Essentials

Protect your data

You are required by law to protect data you hold and process about your customers, suppliers and staff. Find out more about the Data Protection Act and get simple, practical advice on how to keep your customers, suppliers and employees’ personal information secure.

The Information Commissioner' Office data protection guidance for small business

Train your staff

It is widely reported that more than two-thirds of all cyber-crime is human-instigated, in one way or another. Yet many businesses implement just technical safeguards.

Properly training your staff is one of the most impactful steps you can take to reduce your business’ vulnerability to cyber-attack.

Free online cyber security training for staff managers and business owners.

Cyber security training for business

Government cyber security advice for businesses

A full list of Government cyber security advice for businesses can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/cyber-security-guidance-for-bu...

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