Apple, Sony, Talk Talk are just three examples of high-profile instances that have attracted attention for all the wrong reasons. When news breaks of a data breach or a cyber-attack, more often than not the victim is named and shamed it turns out be a well-known organisation, usually they are worth millions if not billions.

It certainly gives food for thought. Are smaller organisations less likely to attract unwanted cyber attention because they lack the profile, therefore are they given opportunity to rest easier at night? Or should they be quivering under the sheets, afraid that the seemingly humungous IT budgets that these organisations have in place, they were still unable to deter the criminals?

Sensitivity towards data breach and cyber security should be high on every organsation’s risk schedule. We may be smaller, but we are just as much at risk, if not more. The number security breaches in smaller organisation have been rising year-on-year.

Whether limited by strategy or finance, small businesses and charitable organisations tend to have weaker or fewer cyber security practises in place. And if you have data on your books – and let’s face it, who doesn’t in 2016? – this means a hack can mean access to partners, clients, customers.

Here are VS Group’s top tips for shoring up your security

Cyber Security and Knowing the Risks 

Understand the threats and vulnerabilities that are in the marketplace and in your sector. Draw up a risk register plot the worst case.

Don’t be an Island 

Create a team and give ownership on issues of security. Ensure accountability and responsibility is driven

Create and Communicate Your Policy 

Create a security policy that involves strict protocols, for both everyday security and for situations where your security has been compromised.

There is no ‘I’ in Team 

Everyone should be educated on the potential risks and threats and has to be trained in the business’ security practices. These should also be woven into your employees’ objectives.

Maintain Physical Access Control

While securing your network is important, controlling physical access to networked devices is also critical. An unauthorised person accessing a device could easily compromise your security.

Password Protect and Authenticate

Every system in the organisation must have a unique password and only authorised employees should be in the know. In addition, all software that employees install on their systems must be approved by your security personnel.

Secure Mobile and Wi-Fi Access

Every employee is sure to have a mobile device. Smartphone or tablet, they’ll all want to connect to the company Wi-Fi. We’d recommend the installation of a security app and always maintaining constant Wi-Fi access control.
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