On Safer Internet Day, Technical Consultant at Evolve Business Group, Sean Richards, is reminding businesses of their role in staying safe online. According to a recent survey by the UK government, 32% of businesses and 24% of charities experienced a cyber security breach or attack in the last 12 months.
"Safer Internet Day aims to raise awareness among young people of online issues. However, it's not just young people who need to be aware of online safety. Businesses are just as susceptible to cyber threats if they don't adequately protect themselves," warns Sean Richards.
Notably, in 2023, the average cost of a data breach was $4.45 million, reaching a record high. The number of ransomware victims in March of the same year had also nearly doubled from the previous year. No business, irrespective of size, is immune to such predicaments, according to the Evolve Business Group.
As a frontrunner in managed IT networks, Evolve Business Group provides Managed Network Solutions to support new, swifter, and secure internet services for businesses. Their solution includes offering practical advice, which based on Sean Richards highlights, revolves around secure authentication, software updates, Virtual Private Network (VPN) usage, and particular importance given to employee training.
Raising the importance of secure authentication, Richards advises: "Always use a robust and unique password for each of your critical online accounts. Multi-Factor Authentication should be set up on your online accounts where possible. This provides an extra layer of security, so even if someone manages to acquire your password, they would still need the second factor to successfully log in."
Richards also explains that timely software updates serve as a shield against viruses and various malware types. "Almost all (94%) of malware is delivered by email, so it's critical to apply software updates for both your devices and applications as soon as they're available," advises Richards.
Moreover, he underscored the importance of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) that create a secure and encrypted connection over the internet between a device and the VPN provider. This makes it significantly more challenging for unauthorised parties to intercept and access data. He explained, “This becomes extremely critical when utilising open and unsecured networks like public Wi-Fi, as these are attractive targets for hackers looking to take advantage.”
Lastly, Richards stressed the need for excellent training for businesses since "more than 70% of cyberattacks originate within organisations". Evolve Business Group provides a flexible training platform with monthly courses, advanced reporting, simulated phishing attacks, policy distribution, and GDPR tools.
This information highlights that in an increasingly digital-driven world, businesses, irrespective of their size or sector, can never be too careful about cyber threats, reinforcing the need for appropriate online safety measures. Safer Internet Day extends far beyond young internet users to organisations and businesses and serves as a crucial reminder of the importance of cybersecurity.