cyber-threats are constantly evolving, businesses need to continually revisit their security strategy

By Adam Kobeissi, Products and Services Director at Niu Solutions

8th December  2017

Cyber-attacks are on the rise, and unfortunately the lack of awareness in smaller businesses, combined with the ‘it won’t happen to me mind-set,’ means that these companies have become an increasingly attractive target for cyber criminals. Given their size, SMEs often don’t have access to the skills and expertise needed to deal with complex data breaches, meaning they are especially vulnerable.

Building walls

Cyber-attacks are becoming so common that businesses of all sizes need to be prepared. Fortunately, there are dedicated products now available to help businesses protect themselves from attacks. Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), for example, uses the flexibility and security of the cloud to mitigate potential disastrous consequences of a security breach. DRaaS solutions have become so successful that by 2020 they are expected to account for 90% of all disaster recovery operations.
But what else can businesses do to prevent and minimise damage, should they become the victim of a cyber-attack?

Awareness

Awareness should be at the heart of any good data security strategy. Employees need to be aware of the value of the company’s data, the increasing risk of an attack, and the unfortunate consequences that can come as a result.

In order to achieve this goal, firms need to create a culture that highlights the importance of information security. Cyber-attacks can take on multiple forms, from data breaches to phishing and everything else in between. Employees need to know what to look out for and how to deal with each of these varying situations.

Increased regulation

One of the largest regulations affecting data security is set to be implemented next year. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) affects any company that stores the data of EU citizens. Firms that don’t comply could face fines of up to £17 million or 4% of annual turnover, whichever is higher.
To ensure full compliance with this new regulation, it’s important that organisations take a back-to-basics approach: assess, implement, educate, maintain and certify. It is often the case that new security gaps come to light as firms get to grips with new legal requirements, so firms will need to be ready to react to these discoveries as well.

Quick Reactions

Statistics show that intruders can have access to a company’s IT system for up to 40 days before they are detected. Unsurprisingly, the longer that someone is inside the system, the more damage they can cause, so firms need to be quick to react when under threat.
To overcome this, all employees need to be aware of what to look out for when detecting a cyber-attack. For a start, it’s vital that employees have a solid understanding of what ‘normal’ looks like; this way, should something out of the ordinary occur, they will be able to detect it very quickly.
The backbone of security

Because cyber-threats are constantly evolving, businesses will need to continually revisit their security strategy to ensure their approach is sophisticated enough to deal with this changing landscape. This can be especially difficult for smaller businesses, however, who tend to have small budgets.
Fortunately, by enlisting the help of a security solutions provider, businesses of all sizes can prevent future attacks by examining network traffic for known attack patterns, analysing trends and monitoring the methods of attack. If chosen correctly, the right partner can not only ensure constant compliance with the latest legislation in this area, but can also act as the ‘backbone’ of a company’s defences in order to keep its data safe.