Written by Jonathan Hunt
15 Aug, 2019
A recent Government survey found that nearly seven in ten large companies identified a cyber breach in the last year and small to medium-sized businesses are just as likely to be targeted. With this in mind, we surveyed a variety of UK businesses to investigate what kind of network security measures they have in place. In this post, we will discuss the results of the survey and provide you with advice for implementing a robust network security strategy to keep your data secure. One of the most noticeable results from our survey was that 12% of respondents didn’t have a cyber security strategy in place at all. Although only a small percentage, when you consider that almost half of UK firms were hit by a cyber breach or attack in the past year, it’s worrying that these organisations are putting themselves at such serious risk. The ever increasing frequency of cyber threats means it’s more a question of when rather than if a company will be targeted. It’s therefore essential to have a strategy for dealing with and preventing these attacks. When it came to the efficiency of their network security strategy, 33% of people surveyed were confident that their company was definitely prepared for a cyber security breach. Another 31% said they were probably prepared but just over 17% of respondents were either unprepared or unsure whether they were able to deal with a breach. This again shows that there are a number of companies who are not totally confident in their cyber security strategy. When you consider the potential financial and reputational damage a cyber attack can cause, it’s vital that you have security measures you can totally depend upon. Cyber attacks can result in a range of unwanted costs, including system repair, customer compensation and legal fees; on top of this, the damage it can cause to your reputation can be catastrophic with customers unable to trust you with their personal data.
Companies who do hold personal customer data are significantly more likely to suffer cyber breaches. The upcoming introduction of the General Data protection Regulation (GDPR) means it’s more crucial than ever that every step is taken to protect personal data from cyber threats. In order to ensure data protection it’s important to take a holistic approach to network security; we strongly recommend putting in place as many measures as possible to formulate a strong network security strategy. One of the most common ways hackers gain access to your data is through fraudulent emails, for example tricking staff into revealing passwords or via dangerous attachments. Viruses and malware, including people impersonating the company online and ransomware attacks, are also major causes of data loss. It’s therefore vital that you have email and internet filtering in place as well as anti-virus and anti-malware protection. On top of this, we recommend setting up security patch management, penetration testing, online backups, monitoring and user education. Although 86% of respondents to our survey said they had anti-virus protection in place, only 30% had penetration testing and less than half had security patch management. By not applying a full range of measures these companies are leaving themselves highly susceptible to data loss. Just under half of all respondents said they had not provided any training to staff around network security awareness. If you haven’t yet done this, one of the first things you can do is make staff aware of some of the simple steps they can take to ensure network security. To help you out, we have made a handy cyber security booklet, which is full of cyber security tips, that you and your colleagues can follow to keep your networks safe.
Are you confident that your network security strategy will keep your data safe? If you’re unsure, we’d be happy to offer you some advice. We provide a wide range of cyber security solutions (SECaaS), and we are are ISO9001 and Cyber Essentials certified, meaning you can be 100% certain of both the security and quality of our systems. If you require any help on cyber security or would like to know more about how we can keep your data safe, contact us today.