IT User Security
One of the most common ways your IT network can be compromised is by viruses, malware and unwanted programmes gaining access through internet usage, email, and USB drives being used on individual computers.
Compromising your IT user security is easily done if you are not fully aware or knowledgeable on the gateways and tricks that exist and how to avoid them.
Here at Emerald Group, we have the tools to protect hardware, software and the data within an IT system against theft, malfunction, and unauthorised access when there is an IT user security breach alongside providing you with the knowledge on how to avoid being caught up in cybercrimes including phishing and other social-engineering attacks.
Educate Your Employees on Cyber Security
One of the best things you can do as a business to mitigate the risk of a cyber attack is to educate your employees. IT user security awareness training helps every employee in your organisation recognise, avoid and report potential threats that can compromise critical data and systems.
Below are a few tips but here at Emerald Group we provide full IT user security training and provide our best practice guides as required.
- Ensure all computers are protected with market-leading anti-virus, anti-spam, malware, and ransomware solutions. There are many products in the market now that don't adversely affect the performance of the individual PC. If the solution displays pop-up messages, it is important to educate employees to follow these instructions and not see the software as a hindrance to working. It is also important to ensure your solutions are renewed so you remain protected.
- Be careful of the websites you access. There are levels of security when it comes to websites. Some are black-listed, some are known as 'phishing' websites which are fake spoofed web addresses for legitimate websites, others have let their security certificate lapse. If your operating system or anti-virus warns you about accessing a website, my advice would be not to continue. If you know the company well, drop them a line to let them know their security certificate needs updating. For more information about phishing websites please check here: https://www.phishtank.com/
- Be vigilant about the emails you open. Phishing emails are the same as phishing websites: they are designed to look like they come from a legitimate source in order to gain information from you. Take a look at the sender's email by hovering over the email address with your mouse or clicking on the address only on your smartphone. You are likely to see that the HMRC or Paypal part is only an alias and there is another fake email address underneath. If you are unsure about an email, always err on the side of caution and don't open it,. Also never open an attachment from a sender you don't recognise. Most email platforms allow a preview pane which you can turn on and see enough information without having to open the email itself.
- Be wary of any emails requesting immediate payments. A local business bank confirmed with us the substantial increase they have also seen in hackers sending internal emails seemingly from colleagues asking for immediate payments. Be very wary of any immediate demands for payments and do what our Finance Manager has been asked to do and text the colleague requesting it to ensure it's legitimate. A business we work with got in touch with us after they made a payment of tens of thousands to a new bank account believing it was a supplier when it was a hacker.
- Encourage people to always speak out. If someone has opened that email or gone on that website and they know something is wrong, you need to know as soon as possible so it is best to create a culture that encourages people to speak up without retribution. You need to ensure you have a disaster recovery plan in place and we can work with you to get you operational again within 24 hours. The sooner we all know, the quicker we can act and the less damage the hackers can do.
Why IT User Security Awareness Training is Important
Data breaches cost UK organisations an average £2.9 million per breach with human errors accounting for 90% of breaches in 2019 (www.cybsafe.com) With these facts highlighting the obvious, IT user security awareness is more important than ever to:
- Prevent breaches and attacks
- Build a culture of security
- Have more powerful technological defences set up within the workplace
- Give your customers more confidence that you take the necessary security measures
- Comply with regulations
- Be socially responsible as a business
- Breaches in IT user security cost businesses in the UK an average £2670 in 2020/21 with this figure becoming greater as the size of a business increases (www.statista.com).
- Four in ten businesses report having cyber security breaches or attacks in the last 12 months (2020/21). This is higher among medium businesses (65%), large businesses (64%) and high-income charities (51%) according to official statistics cyber security breaches survey 2021 (www.gov.uk).
- The most common type of attack which compromises IT user security is phishing attacks with 83% of businesses and 79% of charities affected.
We Offer a Full Cyber and IT User Security Audit
If you are interested in our computer security solutions, please call our Leamington office on 01926 452 462.
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