IT Security means better business

Think your business has nothing of value to protect? Think again! The value of your business is in the data you collect and store; confidential information about your customers; your company’s own financial records; product information, plans and assessments. Protecting this data, and ensuring its confidentiality, is vital.

The nature of attacks are changing all of the time, meaning it has never been more important for businesses to be vigilant when it comes to security – a breach within your business can not only mean a loss of credibility, but could also leads to thousands of euros in fines.

So how can your business improve security? Updating your programs regularly, implementing a multi-layered defence and keeping track of who uses what within your organisation are all important in order to help you to stay ahead of the threats – you can find more information of these topics on our ‘Cyber Security’ page.

Two of the easiest ways to start are with your people and passwords. In this blog post we look at how to engage your employees in cyber safety and implement robust passwords across your organisation.

People are often the weakest link in business security, not the hardware and software.

Security has to start with your employees. A business can have the most sophisticated anti-virus software, but if an employee gives away their corporate username and password, through phishing email, or using a password that’s simple to guess, then that security will count for nothing.

Make sure your employees understand the need for IT security and use the security tools provided. As part of a Cyber Security Breaches Survey it was found that of businesses who have experienced a security breach, a shocking 48% were employee related. In fact, employee related incidents were found to be the most common reason for a security breach, with infections by viruses or malicious software accounting for 27%; attacks by unauthorised outsiders 16%; and system failure and theft of computers both making up 5% of incidents. (Source – BIS Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2014 Results https://dm.pwc.com/HMG2014BreachesSurvey/)

Choosing a strong password can make the difference between a hacker taking seconds or years to get access to your data.

Password recovery services, using state-of-the-art computing systems, can try 20 million passwords a second. Put in to context, this means a six character password would take around 18 minutes to crack; a ten character password, just over four months; and 13 character password, three and half centuries. (Source – Gibson Research – http://www.grc.com/haystack.htm).
To make things harder for the hacker, you need to choose an effective password. By using numbers, special characters and upper and lower case characters in a longer password, say 11 digits, you will effectively force any cracking program used to choose from 104 characters multiplied by 11 digits, resulting in 15,394,540,563,150,776,827,904 possibilities. This increases the time needed to crack a password from seconds to millions of years.

You can find more tips on improving business security on our Cyber Security webpages.

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