Safer Internet Day: Time to Protect Your Business

Today is Safer Internet Day, an international event designed to raise awareness around the various dangers found online. Many businesses are being encouraged to take the opportunity to consider how they approach their online security.

We care about the safety of UK businesses, and so, want to use this article to outline how important cybersecurity is to the welfare of your business.


Cybercrime is fast becoming one of the greatest threats to modern business, with notorious ransomware; WannaCry, reported as being one of the most dangerous breaches in recent history. Cyber security veterans McAfee estimated that thanks to the 2017 attack, the world’s economy suffered a loss of between £300 billion and £435 billion (data centre journal). More recent examples of cyberbreaches, such as the ransomware; BadRabbit, and the reported hacking of several hundred T-Mobile customer sim-cards, continue to showcase the vulnerability of even the largest companies.

  • The results of last year’s Government Cyber Security Breach Survey further highlights the online threat faced by UK businesses. Here are just some of the key findings… Since 2016, all UK businesses have reportedly become more exposed to cyber security risks, especially those that store personal customer data electronically (51% vs 46%), which is over half of all UK businesses (61%).
  • The most common form of cyber attacks are still fraudulent emails received by company staff (71%), which are especially dangerous if employees have not been properly briefed on how to identify and deal with phishing emails.
  • In fact, the survey found that breaches were more prevalent among businesses whose senior management consider cyber security a low priority (35% more likely).

Source: Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport

Cyber breaches are a threat because they don’t just disrupt the day-to-day activity of your business in the moment, but they can also cause long-term ramifications; such as damaging your reputation, directly exposing customer data, and leading to monetary losses. Which is why it’s so important that businesses take action to protect themselves, their employees, and their customers from potential cyber crime.

There are dozens of ways to boost your cyber security, but we’ll cover a few of them briefly here…

  1. Installing anti-virus and anti-malware software on your PCs and mobile devices is perhaps the most obvious way of protecting your business from online security threats. You should also consider talking to a specialist about installing a professional firewall on your servers for additional protection.
  2. Hackers have been known to exploit weaknesses in older versions of hardware and software, that aren’t built to withstand against newer threats. This means that keeping your software, hardware and OS regularly updated is important.
  3. Once breached, mobiles can be used as an access point to a company’s entire network, if connected to their internet or cloud systems. Being aware of potentially malicious apps is definitely something watch out for, particularly if you have an Android phone, as Android devices have been cited as one of the most vulnerable pieces of tech. Installing a Mobile Device Management solution (MDM) on your employees’ company devices is also recommended, as it will help to protect your network from being exposed to potentially infected mobiles.
  4. Employees have too often become unwitting participants in acts of cyber criminality, either due to ignorance or unsafe online behaviour. The best way to combat this is to help inform your staff and make them aware of the potential dangers involved with being online. Advise them to install anti-virus and anti-malware software on the devices, to be wary of potential email phishing campaigns, and to avoid suspicious websites.

The good news is that people are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of cybersecurity, with the 2017 Government survey finding that over half of the UK’s businesses have searched for information on cybersecurity in the last year, and have spent money on improving their online protection (67%).

So, if you haven’t started taking action against cybercrime yet, make this Safer Internet Day the first time you do.

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