As your team are getting ready for some well-earned time off, are you thinking about cyber security? Business’ defences are likely to be down over Christmas and this can be exploited by hackers. With a large part of your workforce off for the holidays, would your team be able to manage an attack on Christmas Eve?
Small businesses are especially vulnerable over the holidays. Since the pandemic, many cyber-criminals have switched targets from multi-national companies to those they see as having less protection. This notably includes schools, the healthcare sector, and many small professional services businesses. Skeleton crews working over Christmas may not be working with the same diligence as fully staffed teams, and this is where vulnerabilities can occur.
In order to properly prepare your IT systems for Christmas you need some essential services supporting you, as well as following some key best practices. In this blog we’ll cover some of the most important, and the ways your team can access them.
Ensure work devices are kept secure
With the rise of flexible working, the line between company and personal devices is blurrier than ever. Over Christmas a huge number of devices that have work files and company data will be away from the office for an extended period of time. You need to take measures to keep these devices and the data within them secure.
The simplest and arguably the most effective way of keeping employee devices secure is by implementing a password policy. You’ll be amazed at how many Password123’s that we come across here at Biscuit on a daily basis. At Christmas we know that many staff will return with new devices, and these are even less likely to have proper passwords in place.
With Plan B now in place and staff returning to a remote way of working, keeping devices secure this Christmas just got a whole lot more important. With staff all working in different places it can be incredibly difficult to see which devices potentially pose a threat to your business. Our remote monitoring service changes this.
Remote monitoring isn’t about being Big Brother and watching your staff like a hawk. Our platform allows you to see at a glance, a clear overview of all the devices currently connected to your business’ IT system. This includes devices belonging to remote workers and allows you to make better informed decisions about resource allocation moving forward. If you notice that older devices are being used frequently, then protect your system and reward your staff by providing an upgrade. Similarly you can see the level of security that each device on your network is working with, which leads us to our next point.
Use the right firewalls
You might have backed up the devices on your network with firewalls, but are you using the right ones? Many recent high-profile cyber-security incidents have been caused by businesses who use firewalls that are either out of date or haven’t been regularly updated.
At Biscuit we can not only help to ensure that the firewalls your team have installed can keep them safe both in and out of the office. But our remote monitoring service allows us to spot when firewalls are out of date and plan in regular health checks with your team.
Properly maintain your cloud services
Cloud IT and communication services are a lifesaver when you’re working away from the office. They mean that your team are never left at a disadvantage when working remotely. Whether you’re using a cloud communication service to improve your remote customer service, or Office 365 to access your files on the go. It’s important that you have the right protections in place.
Our cloud support service can help here. If you’re looking to adopt services like Office 365, we can help you migrate your files over, and help you find the most cost-effective licence.
Use two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication is becoming more popular on a variety of services, especially as remote working becomes the norm. It provides a backup for businesses in case passwords are compromised. Making use of this service not only protects you against large co-ordinated cyber-attacks, but also the more common human error.
Phishing attacks are some of the most regular ways that cyber-criminals can access your company data. These are usually sent in the form of fake emails posing as legitimate businesses, asking your staff to log in to accounts and giving them access. Using a 2FA service to add an extra layer of protection means that unauthorised users are less likely to be able to access your accounts, even if they do manage to access passwords via your team.
We hope that these services give your team something to think about over the festive season. Get in touch with Biscuit to find out how you can keep your business secure in 2022. You can reach us at 01924 241 281.