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Start Secure, Stay Secure: How a Cyber Secure First Mindset Can Future-Proof Your Business

Cyber threats are on the rise, and they’re affecting small businesses more than ever. A 2023 report from PwC on the outlook for cyber security in the UK found 90% of organisations have experienced greater exposure to cyber risk due to digitisation but the majority also have not mitigated these enhanced risks; yet over the last year, around 2.39 million cases of cyber crime effected UK businesses.  

Therefore, to ensure the longevity of your business venture, you must adopt the cybersecurity best practices. And this starts with tweaking the mindset that is brought to it first. 

The Cyber Secure First Mindset 

Business owners, especially the small to mid-size ones, wear multiple hats to run their companies. They’re focused on sales, marketing, product development, and hiring, among other things. 

All of these are necessary since they contribute directly to the bottom line. In the realm of those activities, cyber security is seen as an expense rather than an investment. 

Therefore, it’s not uncommon for owners to delegate cyber security for ‘some other day.’ 

But from our perspective as an IT services provider for businesses and schools across London and the surrounding areas, this is a mistake! Correcting this starts with your mindset. Here are some facts: 

  • Contrary to belief, hackers target small businesses just as much as large corporations. Around 43% of total attacks globally are directed towards SMBs. 
  • Many industries are subject to strict data protection regulations. Failure to comply can result in hefty fines and legal repercussions. For instance, the European Union’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) levies fines of up to €20 million, or 4% of the company’s global annual revenue, whichever is higher, for non-compliance. 
  • A data breach not only compromises sensitive information but also erodes trust. According to a study by Kaspersky, 87% of consumers would take their business elsewhere if they believe a company is not handling their data responsibly. 
  • The average explicit data breach cost in the UK is £1’100 for micro-small sized businesses, rising to £4’960 for medium-large sized businesses.  

When the stakes are high and deadly, you cannot help by prioritiing cybersecurity for your business. 

And when planned properly, it isn’t expensive compared to what it’d cost to repair the data breach. 

Creating a Cost-Effective Cyber Security Strategy 

A small investment in the early days of your business venture can go a long way in safeguarding your future. And getting started is rather inexpensive. 

Here are some basic measures to take as part of the strategy: 

  • Move operations to the cloud 

In this cloud-first age, companies still prefer on-premise deployments. While it has certain benefits, the cloud proves to be the winner regarding cost. 

Cloud deployments follow the operating expenditure (OpEx) model, where the upfront costs are lower, and you pay as per the usage. This is in contrast with on-premise deployment, which attracts high upfront costs. 

So, a cost-effective cyber security strategy should have cloud computing at the core. 

  • Ensure endpoint protection 

Endpoints like laptops and smartphones are frequent entry points for cyber attacks. 

Deploying reputable antivirus and anti-malware solutions on all devices is a cost-effective measure. Many affordable options tailored for small businesses provide robust protection against various cyber threats. 

Endpoint protection helps detect and mitigate malware, ensuring the integrity of devices and data. 

  • Secure network configuration 

Securing the network perimeter is crucial. Proper configuration helps prevent unauthorised access and protects against common cyber threats like ransomware and unauthorised access attempts. 

Configuring firewalls and routers to secure network traffic is a cost-effective way to create a barrier against unauthorised access. Many routers have built-in security features that can be optimised for small business needs. 

  • Set up IAM 

IAM, or Identity and Access Management, is another cyber security measure that protects businesses from unauthorised access. 

The 2021 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report found that 27% of data breaches involved internal actors. Therefore, you must have a policy in place that grants access to certain users and not everyone. 

All modern cloud services enable setting up and maintaining IAM for total protection. And it’s a cost-effective option, too. 

  • Set up automatic security updates 

Exploiting outdated software is a common tactic for cyber criminals. Regular updates close security loopholes, enhancing the overall resilience of the business. 

Keeping up-to-date software, operating systems, and applications is a low-cost but highly effective strategy. Most updates include security patches that address vulnerabilities, reducing the risk of exploitation. 

Cloud deployments have an option for automatic updates. Once enabled, the software receives updates as soon as they’re launched, thus closing the vulnerabilities without manual intervention. 

  • Develop an Incident Response plan 

Being prepared for a security incident is essential. A well-defined incident response plan ensures a swift and organised response, limiting the damage and aiding recovery. 

An incident response plan should outline the steps to be taken in case of a breach, reducing downtime and potential financial losses. 

Start Secure, Stay Secure With Us 

These measures mitigate risks and contribute to a culture of security awareness. The more aware employees are, the safer your business. This is true for any business, including businesses across London and surrounding areas such as Essex and Sussex. Therefore, start at the top and develop a mentality that will ultimately trickle down to the rest of your business. Contact us today to learn more. 

Not sure where you stand against cyber threats? Claim your Free Cyber Health Report to understand the lay of the land with cyber protection in your business.