What is Cyber Security?
Cyber security, essentially, is about keeping business data safe and protected from outside, criminal threats. Where possible, it prevents hackers from getting into your systems, but it also works to back up your data so it can be restored quickly and with minimum disruption. When we talk about cyber security we look at both technical (such asanti-virus, firewalls) and organisational (policies and procedures) controls.
Cyber security looks at hardware, software and servers, networks, internet and emails. As well as protecting your office equipment, it identifies ways to reduce vulnerabilities with staff devices such as smartphones and tablets. It also safeguards your storage, whether that’s onsite, offsite or in the cloud.
Why is Cyber Security Important?
We’ve explored the damage that security breaches can do to your business, with both short and long-term problems arising after a hack.
There are many reasons why it’s important, but here is a quick list to remind you:
- Loss of sensitive information
- Loss of client data
- Risk of non-compliance
- Business downtime
- Restoring data costs
- Potential loss of future business
- Damage to professional reputation
- Business failure/bankruptcy
How to Implement it in Your Business
When it comes to a cyber security solution, there are two options available to you.
The first is to manage it in-house, with off-the-shelf software you install yourself. If you have a large company with an IT department, this is a definite possibility, as the monitoring and management of threats are dealt with almost exclusively in the team.
However, if you’re a sole trader or small business, this might not be practical – you may not have the knowledge to implement the system properly. If this is you, it’s better to look into outsourcing cyber security to an IT support company, who can take charge of it all for you.
Why You Should Outsource it
Cyber security and data protection are essential for any business, but it can often slip down the priority list.
Here are some reasons for you to outsource the protection of your company data to a third party:
1. Saves you time
Even big companies with lots of staff don’t always have the time to implement, monitor and update firewalls, malware blockers and search email servers for phishing attacks.
The key to effective cyber security is constant monitoring and being aware of potential threats. Take the pressure off your IT department so they can concentrate on dealing with everyday queries and in-house issues.
If you’re a small business, you can’t afford to spend time on trying to keep up to date with your security. It’s also worth remembering that cyber criminals operate 24 hours a day. If you have to get up in the middle of the night to deal with a problem, it will have a negative impact on the next day too.
2. It’s proactive
One big advantage of good cyber security and monitoring is that the software is often able to spot and mitigate threats before they cause any damage. On the rare occasions that a data breach or security compromise happens, the support company is on hand to quickly resolve the issues.
You don’t have to waste time trying to find someone to come in and help you restore the data, and because the solutions often have business-as-usual as a priority, the inconvenience to you, your staff and your clients is considerably reduced.
3. Saves you money
It’s easy to see how the benefits outlined in point two will also save you money. An IT company coming in at short notice to rescue you is going to be costly, and the time you spend calling people takes you away from your work, which also costs money.
A good cyber security solution will also include data storage and backup, so you don’t have to pay for that separately. Restoration will be faster, as you don’t have to get in touch with your storage facility or start downloading data, so you can concentrate on your usual work – making money.
4. Fewer mistakes
Using a professional company to install and monitor your cyber security solution means that you can be assured that it’s been done properly. Most small business owners aren’t IT experts, and there’s always a possibility that you might get something wrong. This could be costly in the event of a cyber-attack.
5. Reduces risk
Using an IT support partner limits the possibility of an attack, as we’ve discussed. Their cyber security solution will be more robust and bespoke than anything you could buy yourself. It will also be tailored to your specific business needs, so if you rely on a particular tool or specific piece of software, you know they can protect it properly.
If you use a public cloud storage solution, your data is vulnerable to attacks. No matter how strong your passwords are or how careful you are about giving access to the information, if another cloud user is targeted, your data can be compromised too.
An IT partner will offer their own secure cloud storage, where your information is kept away from that of other users. They will also offer you advice on how to make things safe at your end.
6. Helps with compliance
With the introduction of GDPR and a greater understanding of cyber security and the damage that can be caused by a data breach, companies now have greater obligations than ever before when it comes to security.
If client details or work relating to your customers is lost, there is a very real possibility that you will be non-compliant when it comes to GDPR or other legislation. Using an outsourced IT provider means you’re less likely to fall foul of the regulators.
7. Delivers bespoke solutions
A good IT partner will take the time to get to know your business and its needs. They will work with you to create custom policies and procedural documents that you can use throughout the organisation.
They can also deliver training to your staff, because they understand exactly what your priorities are, and they can easily answer any questions raised.
8. Increases reputation
Investing in a proper cyber security solution shows your clients that you take data protection seriously. It also demonstrates to new customers that you’re a good company to work with and they can rely on you to be professional in all of your dealings with them.
If you are interested in working with an IT support professional, we have a range of solutions that can be tailored to your business needs. Contact us today for an informal chat and take your cyber security to the next level.