Looking ahead to 2024, the ever-growing cyber threat landscape should remain a high priority for all businesses across the North West. The majority of small and medium businesses don’t have their own cyber security teams. The NWCRC was created to provide trusted police-backed support for those businesses, to help them with training, education and support to tackle the growing threat of cyber crime.
We strongly advise all businesses to make it their New Year’s Resolution to get a handle on their cyber security and don’t let it slip down the priority list.
We’ve been sharing these tips on our social media accounts, but here they are collated together.
Invest in employee training
Employees are often the weakest link in cybersecurity. In fact, 95% of cyber attacks begin with human error.
This year, businesses need to prioritise cyber security training to educate employees about the latest threats and best practices for safe computing. Phishing attacks, in particular, remain a common entry point for cybercriminals, making it vital to train employees to recognise and avoid such threats.
2. Create an Incident Response Plan
Ensure you draft out an Incident Response plan to limit cyber breach damage and so that everyone knows what to do when (not if) a cyber breach occurs. This plan will detail roles, reporting procedures, communication protocols, and next steps required.
You can download our Incident Response Guide.
3. Seek expert guidance
Most small businesses don’t have their own cyber security teams. You can find support and training from the NWCRC, a police-backed not-for-profit org.
Sign up for membership at the NWCRC to ensure you stay ahead of the game.
4. Test your defences
Security assessments will show vulnerabilities before criminals find them. Schedule penetration testing, social engineering tests, and practice ransomware simulations.
This will enable you to identify and address weak points with your IT and your employees.
You can find out about the different types of affordable training and testing we offer:
5. Establish good practice cybersecurity habits
Ensure your employees have strong passwords, understand caution around links and attachments and know what suspicious activity to look for. Also ensure that all software is kept up to date on all devices regularly.
You could schedule reminders every few months to ensure all devices are updated and backed up, and passwords changed.
The advice from the Government’s NCSC is to use three random words to create a secure password:
6. Ensure you have data back ups set up
A cyber security breach can wipe out a small business, particularly if it loses access to all of its data and IT systems. Ensure that you implement automated, encrypted backups that are tested regularly. This will enable your business to get up and running again in the event of a data breach or ransomware attack.
Get all of these protocols in place this January and you can drastically reduce the chances of a cyber breach. Sign up to our membership to ensure you get all the latest up to date information about cyber security: