Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Essential Cybersecurity Measures for UK Businesses in the Covid-19 Era

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Cyberattacks pose an ongoing threat to individuals, businesses, and government institutions around the world. Research shows that cyberattacks and data breaches are becoming more frequent in the UK. The novel coronavirus pandemic has only made things worse. Reports suggest a drastic increase in cyberattacks since the onset of the pandemic. More than 70 percent of businesses in the UK saw more cyberattack attempts during this time. 


Understanding the Risks


Specifically, cybercriminals are taking advantage of the uncertainty in this unprecedented situation and targeting employees who are not used to working from home.. Small UK businesses, being inadequately protected, are more vulnerable to these cyberthreats. In this article, you will learn how you can protect your small business from the rising cybersecurity threats but first, let’s take a look at the most common cyberattacks facing businesses in the UK. 


Phishing Attacks


Phishing is a social engineering tactic used by cybercriminals to get their victims to part with sensitive information. A recent report by Barracuda Networks showed a 667% increase in Covid-19 themed phishing emails since the end of February. 


Malware


The term malware is a portmanteau of the words ‘malicious’ and ‘software.’ It refers to any program designed to cause harm to a targeted computer. Often launched as part of a phishing attack, ransomware is an example of a type of malware that has become very common nowadays. Other types of malware include worms, viruses, spyware, etc. 


Wi-Fi Attacks


Shared or public Wi-Fi connections can be very convenient on the go. However, these networks are wrought with security risks and its best to steer clear when you can. Wi-Fi networks are vulnerable to a wide range of attacks including wireless hijacking, authentication attacks, eavesdropping, etc. 


How to Stay Protected 


Exacerbated by the ongoing pandemic, cyberattacks are creating numerous problems for small businesses in the UK. Shockingly, many businesses are still unprepared despite the real and imminent risk of an attack. Below, we take a look at what you can do to mitigate the risk of a cyberattack in your business. 


Install VPN 


A Virtual Private Network, or VPN, is a service intended to make your internet browsing more private and anonymous by hiding your IP address and encrypting your internet traffic. It is the most effective protection against Wi-Fi attacks and other online threats. 


Use Antivirus


Use antivirus software to protect your system from known malware. Antivirus programs are designed to scan the system and detect malicious software such as viruses, trojans, worms, rootkits, and even ransomware. Remember to keep your antivirus updated. 


Anti-Phishing Protection


Make sure that you have measures to defend against phishing in place. Use a secure email service and configure your server to filter and block suspicious emails. Also, don’t open emails from unfamiliar sources. 


Backup Your Data


As a small business, it’s important to ensure that you are backing up your data as often as necessary and store the backed-up data off your network. Having a proper backup strategy will help your business minimize or avoid loss or destruction of data in a cyberattack. 


Stay Vigilant


When it comes to successfully defending against cyberattacks, it helps to remain vigilant at all times, always expecting the unexpected. Ensure that you have a cybersecurity strategy in place and ready to execute. 


Running a business can be a daunting task. It takes years of hard work to build a great reputation and earn customer trust. A cyberattack can damage your business and your reputation overnight. Due to the mayhem caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the risk of an attack is even greater at the moment. By taking steps to protect your business from cyberattacks, you are not only protecting your livelihood, but also your reputation.


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