Amongst the many threats the online world presents to the small but always-connected business in London is the data breach.

A data breach is defined as ‘a security incident in which sensitive, protected or confidential data is copied, transmitted, viewed, stolen or used by an individual unauthorised to do so.’

Data breach hackers will hunt and gather from a wide range of information sources, from financials, personal health and personally identifiable information (PHI) to the confidential trade or intellectual property of an organisation.

Why you cannot afford to be complacent?

An IBM study recently reported in trade magazine Computer Weekly estimated that the cost of a data breach has risen by an increase of over 10% in the UK in the past year alone, to an average o £2.99m per incident.

The report added that the financial consequences of a data breach can be acute for small to midsize businesses. Those with fewer than 500 employees suffered losses of more than £2m on average; a potentially crippling amount for the compact enterprise.

The Global Threat Research Project by Carbon Black in 2019 found that 88% of UK businesses were data breached last year, many of those will be based in London.

Worse still, the average time to detect such a security lapse can be up to 206 days! Imagine what information a hacker could be gleaning from your business in that time?

  • Why you cannot afford to lose this war of attrition?
  • Why you should have security software in place?
  • Why you should check and tighten your process for departing staff?
  • Why your team needs to live and breathe security?
  • How you don’t have to go it alone with managed IT services
  • You and your IT services provider have to be constantly vigilant.

Why you cannot afford to lose this war of attrition?

In answer to the question, ‘How can companies protect against hackers’ the truth is that data breaches are not going to go away any time soon. Recent history tells us the criminals get smarter, the threats evolve and the risks ever more difficult to spot and protect your enterprise against.

And your small business is vulnerable because you have fewer resources to help secure it against, and respond to, the fall out from a security breach, such as specially trained technical staff.

But here are four rapid and relatively straightforward steps you can take to protect your company against cyber attack and make your business a harder target for data breachers to hit.

Why you should have security software in place?

The first line of defence for your IT infrastructure, network, people, customers and, of course, confidential information is installing robust layers of security software. These range from firewalls and antivirus software to encryption and an endpoint detection and response (EDR) capability.

None of these need be expensive (especially when compared to the potential costs of a breach), can quickly and easily be installed by your IT support provider, are regularly updated to provide protection against evolving threats and can scale and change as your business does.

Why you should check and tighten your process for departing staff?

Security breaches by disgruntled employees leaving your business should be one of your biggest causes for concern. Many people are allowed to resign with security passes, login details and account access in hand.

So check your security practices around leavers to ensure you’re deleting their accounts as soon as they’re off the team. Be sure that all equipment, from laptops to data drives and mobile devices are returned, checked and cleaned. Then take a look at shared logins and put a process in place so you don’t have to change everything every time you change personnel. A password manager like LastPass or Dashlane can be a real boon here.

Why your team needs to live and breathe security?

The brutal truth is that your people – however inadvertently – are usually your weakest link when it comes to IT security. So it pays dividends to create a culture of security throughout your team.

For example, an attack technique known as ‘spear phishing’ is an attempt to fool one of your employees with highly realistic looking but spoof emails, fake Google Docs or fraudulent password requests to gain access key files.

The attackers are smart and are only getting smarter, so you need to make IT security a key part of everyone’s role in the business, right from the day they start. Suspicion has to become habitual throughout your organisation.

Whatever technical protection you have in place – such as two-factor authentication – your team needs to instinctively know not to click on or open anything that doesn’t look or feel right.

Before anyone uses their mouse they should be trained to use their common sense and check. Then check again.

How you don’t have to go it alone with managed IT services in London

As a small business you’re unlikely to have the financial, people or technical resources that the bigger players have to put into IT security – especially as the capital is already an expensive place to do business.

So here’s where a managed service provider in London can level the playing field. A professional, expert and experienced IT support team on side can give you access to the same kind of resources that much larger companies take for granted. These range from the state-of-the-art technology tools and solutions to the up-to-date, hands-on know-how you need to protect your business.

They can bring you considerable business benefits like the protection and peace of mind 24/7/365 network monitoring and immediate threat response delivers.

Many providers will be able to offer you a comprehensive selection of services. These range from consultancy, data migration and disaster recovery to cloud hosting, networking solutions like ultra-fast Internet and VoIP telephony and cost effective hardware purchasing and leasing. So you can opt for an end-to-end service or simply cherry pick those capabilities you need.

Managed IT services are generally designed and delivered to be affordable, offer the very latest in terms of technology and knowledge and are flexible enough to scale and change as your business does.

You and your managed IT service providers have to be constantly vigilant

An effective, efficient and capable IT service provider will give you the tools that deliver constant vigilance. In fact, they can usually help you with all the above steps and more, so choose wisely.

Start by creating a shortlist of local and potential partners and pay particular attention to the independent customer reviews they’ve achieved on trust sites like Feefo, Trustpilot and Google.

But let us make that choosing process easy for you. Here at Totality Services we’ve become the IT support provider of choice for London as we’ve already achieved a Feefo Gold Trusted Service Award and have Five Star ratings from both Trustpilot and Google.

So why not call us first for a confidential, no obligation chat about how we can protect your business against data breaches?