Protecting your business from cyber and fraud risks

Three essentials of cyber security to keep your business protected.

As a business, it's a great feeling when your customers really trust you. And in the digital age, that trust also depends on knowing that you’re keeping their data safe. Right now, it can feel like a daunting task, with employees working remotely and cyber criminals attempting to exploit this. But now is the perfect time to ensure you have the right defences in place, so that your customers can rest assured that their data is in safe hands. This article will explore three components that can keep small businesses secure: VPNs, Mobility and Device Management, and educated employees.

1. The Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Remote working by nature involves all employees accessing and sending data outside the protective perimeter of the office. With employees relying on their own web connections, it's important for smaller businesses to protect against their data being compromised or stolen – which is where the VPN can come in.

What is it?

A virtual connection between your computer and a remote location, which allows data to be shared securely – as if you were in the office.

How does it work?

VPNs enable users to access a private network securely. The data is encrypted so it can't fall into the wrong hands while it is being transferred. Equally, the user’s IP address and location are hidden. Why does my business need it?

  • For employees to securely access company data from a remote location.

  • To secure your data traffic.

  • To make sure employees can't be traced or identified on websites.

  • To avoid employees being censored and blocked from services at their remote location.

How do I set one up?

Speak to one of our Business advisers for guidance on deploying a VPN for your staff.

2. Mobility and Device Management

With the rise of remote working, many businesses have chosen to allow employees to use their own devices for work. But with phishing attacks against personal devices trebling in 2019 alone, it’s vital for you to protect every device accessing the network, including mobiles, through Mobility and Device Management.

What is it?

A policy for ensuring your people can work effectively outside of the office – whether at a customer site, on a business trip, or at home – while keeping your data secure.

Why do I need it?

Employees may be using their own devices or ones provided by the company: either way, these devices need to be protected against cyber threats that can steal or corrupt data.

How do I make my business devices secure?

There are multiple options for securing devices, depending on your operating systems:

  • Network-based security solutions (like Vodafone Secure Net) can protect devices against viruses, malware and phishing.

  • Device management systems allow you visibility and control of devices from a central portal, whether it’s to update software or wipe devices remotely.

  • On-device security services (such as Lookout Mobile Security) can prevent, detect and remediate against threats on your mobile and tablet devices.

3. Educated employees

Employees have always been one of the most powerful cyber defences for a business. Having a team that’s security-literate becomes even more important when everyone is working remotely. With the lines between personal and work devices now more blurred than ever, it can be useful to agree on security principles for any device accessing company data. This might include:

  • Whether personal devices – or only company-issued devices – will be allowed to access corporate data.

  • Which operating systems and applications should be allowed to access data.

  • The minimum-security controls that should be in place, such as passwords, encryption or VPN.

Establishing an IT safety policy, and then running a session that sets out the best security practices for your remote workforce, can help to remind teams of the rules – and why they’re needed to keep the business safe.

Combatting the risks

Smaller organisations have always enjoyed closer relationships with their customers – and that bond can be cemented by knowing that you’re protecting their data. Being able to log off at night, safe in the knowledge that you have the tools in place to protect your business from cyber attacks and fraud, is a great feeling.

Want more help and support? Speak to our expert V-Hub Business Advisers, who offer tailored guidance and support on a range of topics.

Lookout Mobile Security

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Available Monday to Friday, 8am-6pm, our friendly team are here to provide guidance and support on the topics that matter to your business.

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