20 IT solutions for London businesses

IT solutions

At totality services cybersecurity remains a top point of discussion, both online in our blog and in the office. Why is this? We find that cybersecurity is a huge component in the IT solutions that we undertake for our client. Often, without the help of service providers, it is the main vulnerability which small to medium sized businesses continue to struggle with.

Business safety, protecting your data, and minimising system downtime are all core elements of the cybersecurity process. These actions are also imperative to ensure your company can operate efficiently and within budget.

Keeping your IT security on point should remain a primary concern throughout 2024. The incidents witnessed in 2023 help us to understand the issues we can protect ourselves from. Reflecting on these moments can further create insight into what the next wave of infiltration and digital disaster areas might be.

So, here are some tips to take into consideration if you want to feel free of cyber worries.

In this article you’ll discover:

Small businesses are prime fodder for hacking

The headlines are often reserved for the biggest businesses, yet hackers typically target the small business. Whether it’s down to smaller budgets to protect systems, or fewer resources to keep up-to-date and on top of the most current attacks, they can’t always hold the same level of protection as their larger counterparts. This makes the work of removing critical information and data easier for hackers.

Over the past year, 32% of small businesses and 59% of medium sized businesses have experienced cyberattacks or breaches. Are you one of those businesses operating in an elevated area of risk? We hold all of the IT security solutions in London businesses need to stay safe.

What did we learn about IT security in 2023?

The number of small businesses reporting breaches or attacks is down. However, this may not mean what you think. The trends taken from government studies suggest that those businesses reporting breaches can do so because of more robust monitoring systems. Therefore, these numbers may be significantly higher than shown, but have gone unnoticed.

Underreporting of data breaches and cyberattacks now poses a new level of danger to small businesses. The worry is not simply the risk of a cyberattack, but the unknown presence of one. And despite efforts to recover, the impact on your business, employees, and clients can be grave.

Dealing with cybersecurity practices internally can fall short for SMEs. That’s why it is more important than ever that in 2024 you seek external expert IT solutions from a trusted support provider.

The number one threat – impersonation and phishing attacks

As we expected, phishing remains the top cyberattack (79%) experienced by UK businesses in 2023. In addition, 31% of businesses reported the impersonation of organisations online, particularly through email. These kind of cyberattacks often focus on the weakness of the individual (your employees) to extract sensitive information. Therefore, regularly keeping up to date with cybersecurity awareness and training is always key.

However, keep in mind the rising sophistication of these attacks and educate yourself on new trends in cybercrime. The ever-evolving landscape of phishing attacks and impersonation tactics highlights the crucial concern for IT protection.

Data loss and data breaches from a lack of encryption and inadequate security networks

With so much of our business and financial transactions happening online, protecting our data is vital. So, it’s surprising still that so much data loss occurs due to unencrypted devices and networks with low-grade security.

As much as these areas may sound foreign to non-IT individuals, the options are abundant for outsourced IT solutions. Find a trusted service provider in London to handle your security solutions and you’re on your way. If you’d like to find out more about our support at totality services, feel free to reach out to our team of experts today!

What can, and should we be doing in 2024?

We’ve produced this straightforward list of items that every small business should consider. These tasks are simple and easy to implement into our digital daily lives in the workplace. For many, there are plenty that are regularly overlooked, which subsequently allow access to prying eyes and thieving hands which none of us need near our data.

How many of the following tips are you proactive about? And how many do you need to improve on?

As specialists in outsourced IT in London, wherever you fall short, we’re ready to come to your rescue.

Stay aware at all times – everyone is a target

The sad news is that everyone is a target, and nobody is 100% safe from phishing, hacking, or losing access to their devices.

Every individual in your business must remain vigilant, especially when online and dealing with sensitive data. Whoever’s responsible for your IT security and solutions should be making sure that every team member is appropriately trained to stay as safe as possible.

Cybersecurity awareness training

Amazingly, almost all the cyberattacks we experience are driven through social engineering. That’s only 2 to 3% of all cases that don’t involve some element of human interaction. Whether through email, phone calls, or text, it is typically the manipulation of the operative which allows a weakness to be exploited.

To minimise threats and damage, your staff must be trained on these issues:

  • How to understand the effects of IT security
  • How data breaches happen
  • The sophistication of email scams
  • The security of the applications they install and the cloud systems they access
  • The pitfalls concerning shared login details and weak passwords

Keep software up to date

Here’s an important piece information that a lot of users aren’t aware of: every piece of software we use provides a potential point of unauthorised access.

It’s practically impossible to bolt shut every door in our software. That’s why so many patches are released to protect you from the latest opportunities revealed by the hackers.

Fortunately, both MacOS and Android operating systems release countless regular security updates to keep you protected.

Setting your devices to update automatically should be standard for everyone on all software and applications.

How to avoid phishing, phone, and email scams

Around half of all UK employees have clicked on a phishing email at some point in the past six months. It’s no wonder then that this kind of attack is so prevalent on small businesses.

As we’ve already touched upon, it’s the human element that’s the simplest to crack. When your attackers want access to your bank details, credit card or passwords, they will most likely gain access through email, social media, or a simple phone call.

Spam filters can block untrustworthy senders, but there will still be messages which can slip through. To keep on top of those, education is always your best ally. Simple flaws in their presentation should trigger your response. These may be poor spelling, unprofessionally written copy, and suspicious-looking URLs – staying aware means staying safe.

Use a better password management system

There are so many ways we can now control our passwords. By now, everyone should understand that a weak password can easily be cracked.

Password predicting software that looks for real words and patterns are old news, so longer and more complicated passwords are a must. The only issue which remains is remembering them, especially when we’re advised to use a different password for each login.

Password tools are a great way to keep everything tight and in one secure place. They can generate strong, secure passwords, and store them too. All you have to do is make sure you can remember the super-strong password you use to access them!

Do you know quite what you’re clicking on?

Your workplace should have policies to control what is considered safe email use and appropriate website access.

It’s simple for developers to implement malware directly into a website. The same goes for software downloads from untrusted sources. They can often operate silently and grant automatic access that will compromise your computer and its data. Different scripts can be activated as you click on the most innocent-looking links.

Do you check the links in your browser to check they’re not enabling a java or other script that could lead to a data leak of some sort?

Consider taking steps to protect your device with browser plug-ins to prevent automatic downloads.

Keep your devices under strict control

It may seem too rudimentary to mention, but if you’re going to leave a device or machine unattended, lock it up, and keep it safe from prying eyes and hands. There are many ways to speedily remove important information from our devices if left in the wrong hands for more than a minute or two.

If you work in a busy office or studio you should lock up your laptop, tablet or PC whenever they’re left unattended. The same goes for sharing a working environment with anyone other than your most-trusted team members. You should also consider any device accessories and include them in your security routine.

Have you thought about locking your external drives, USB sticks and ports? It’s easy to overlook, but there’s often just as much sensitive information available from those as well. If left exposed they are rarely protected from any-user access.

Protecting sensitive data

There are designated protection levels regarding our most sensitive data. For example, your devices may hold your bank accounts, credit cards, health information or legal records on them.

If you do, is the information in open access areas or protected by appropriate encryption applications? We shouldn’t have to remind anyone that you should never have a list of passwords, banking and personal information stored in a file on your PC. Yet so many still do.

We all ride our luck a little at times, but this should be an absolute no-no given the huge issues it can lead to.

Operating with mobile safety in mind

For such a small, portable, and easily accessible item, you’d think we’d take more care of our mobile phones. This includes not only looking after our mobiles, but keeping everything they contain safe too.

The rules we should adhere to are simple:

  • Always keep phones locked.
  • Never leave your mobile unattended.
  • Update your operating system whenever available.
  • Utilise your mobile’s data encryption.
  • Enable the Android Device Manager or Apple’s Find my iPhone in case of worst-case scenarios.
  • Always back up your data.

Use anti-virus software

Prevention is always better than the cure. Every piece of added protection we use is one less chance we have of being infiltrated by hackers.

There are free options for Windows 8 and later users, and there is still a range of trusted options for those using older systems. The same goes for OS users.

Protecting your machines should then become a little more straightforward. Ensure virus definitions and the software itself is updated regularly. When choosing your anti-virus software, do your research to find a trusted provider with strong recommendations.

Back up, back up, back up…

To make sure you understand the seriousness of backing up your data, here is a shocking fact: 60% of small businesses that suffer a major data loss close within six months.

We hope you’ve turned on the backup switch. And remember to set it to automatic from now on.

Don’t just back up your data though; protect yourself with an ideal backup practice. We recommend various methods, but ideally you should have copies of your backups in several locations.

If you’re going to store backups on hard drives or USB sticks, make sure they’re adequately encrypted. And, always have an off-site solution. Finally, include regular backups of your website and email servers too.

If you need advice on the best options available for your business, there are plenty of IT support companies throughout the capital. Feel free to reach out to us at totality services give us a call with any of your questions. Or if you’d like to find out more about us we can offer a free consultation and talk through some IT solutions tailored to your operation’s needs.

Use a firewall

Putting a wall around your business to protect it is a must. A network firewall acts as security for each of your business terminals against unauthorised incoming and outgoing traffic. Windows and OS have firewalls built in—so at the very least make sure you’ve turned them on.

A smaller office should implement a hardware-based firewall to protect their network. Given they’re a little more specialised to set up, leave it to the experts (us!).

Use a VPN

If anybody in your operation works remotely or regularly accesses public Wi-Fi, a VPN is a must.

Sniffing tools are increasingly popular and sophisticated. For example, logging on to a coffee shop or hotel Wi-Fi can leave you vulnerable to snooping. A VPN will protect your data from anyone on the same network and can also hide your Internet traffic.

A VPN will connect you to the Internet privately and anonymously. It creates a kind of hidden tunnel between you and anyone trying to track you.

Two factor authentication

Two factor authentication adds an additional layer of security to the accounts and transactions they’re designed to protect. By utilising a single-use code via mobile phone delivery, or a number generating token or USB stick, it adds an additional step of security to your transaction.

Unfortunately, two factor authentication isn’t available for all login operations, but wherever it is, you should be taking full advantage.

Stay vigilant then, and stay safe at all times

The good news is it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune to boost your IT solutions in 2024. Many of the items recommended above come at a small cost yet offer huge value for your business.

For areas where specialist setup or maintenance is required, we understand all the intricacies of business security solutions. At totality services we offer IT support in South London, North London, and Central London locations—we are always ready to advance your operations.

Our most important takeaway from it all is don’t take risks with your business IT solutions. After all, you want your business to thrive in 2024, right?