Friday 22nd July, 2016 | By Russ McKenzie

Company IT Security

The Office of National Statistics issued a report yesterday (21st July) containing alarming statistics about cyber-crime and fraud. They estimate two million ‘computer misuse’ offences, and nearly FOUR MILLION fraud offences in the year to March 2016.

At a customer level, we have seen several attempts to defraud companies through email impersonation and a depressing number of encryption attacks via spam emails.

So.. Top Ten Tips. Follow these and you’ll be more secure – make sure everyone in the company know what the rules for using your IT are, and why those rules are in place.

1 – Define IT security policies
Companies of all sizes should have a security policy that sets ground rules and drives processes. This will help explain risks to all users and the reasons for vigilance at all times.

2 – Enforce security processes
It is important to define how the policy will be enforced, listing each process and describing the procedure – things like internet access, secure disposal of equipment, revoking access for ex-employees and reporting lost or stolen IT equipment.

3 – Backup your data
Hardware can fail at any time, malware can encrypt gigabytes of data in an instant and vital files can be deleted maliciously.

4 – Secure your network
Firewalls will keep intruders out. Anti-malware software should be properly installed and kept up to date. System updates should be managed centrally rather than relying on individual users to download and install updates.

5 – Passwords are SECRET
Use a strong password. Never share passwords, change them regularly and never re-use a password.

6 – Manage user privileges
Minimise access to sensitive data and do not allow visitors on to your office wi-fi.

7 – Be aware of the risks
Be alert for potential scams. Set social media privacy appropriately and remember that good old human error is responsible for a great many ‘leaks’. Mitigate the risk by having robust processes in place.

8 – Secure your email
Set up spam filtering. Have a policy regarding opening email messages from unknown sources, use up-to-date email clients, and lock your ‘phone and other mobile devices.

9 – Stay Informed
Keep up to date on risks and security alerts, subscribe to IT newsletters and follow nTrust on Twitter (@nTrust_systems)

10 – Ask an expert
Not all IT support is the same, so ensure that you have a package or system that is appropriate to your needs.

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