Flexible business insurance
No-one can afford to ignore cybersecurity - particularly digital businesses who rely on the latest tech. Not only is your core asset at risk from cyber attacks and data breaches, but competent data management and security are now required by law in some aspects – we're looking at you, GDPR.
Fail to put the right protections in place could mean hefty fines, reputational damage and the risk of prosecution.
Thankfully, there are loads of tools out there to protect your systems against many of the most common cyber threats, and to ensure your business stays on its feet if the worst does happen.
Here, we run through the top 8 tools you need in your cybersecurity toolshed.
1. Antivirus software
Antivirus tools are critical for preventing, detecting and removing viruses, like trojans and worms.
There are tonnes of options out there and you might be tempted to go for a free or cheaper standard antivirus tool. But if you have more than a couple of employees, it’s worth investing in a business suite.
These usually come bundled with a firewall, email protection and anti-spam functionalities, ensuring all your devices and locations are covered, and enabling you to control everything centrally. Check out Avast and Avira which have popular SME offerings.
2. Anti-ransomware tools
Ransomware is one of the biggest threats facing businesses and it can cause untold problems if you get hit. It targets victims by either publishing personal data or gaining access to a system and then blocking access from the victim until a ransom is paid.
Luckily, cybersecurity providers are starting to get ahead of the problem, with various tools that can detect and stop ransomware, as well as decrypt files and clean up systems following an attack.
Vendors to look out for include BitDefender, Kaspersky and AVG, many of which have tools that are free to use.
3. A configured firewall
An up-to-date firewall will ensure that any malicious information travelling through the public internet (of which there is a lot!) doesn’t enter your private systems.
There are various types of firewalls out there, but essentially you can choose either a virtual firewall installed on your systems, or a piece of physical hardware. The latter is usually harder to compromise so could be a good investment if you are dealing with very sensitive data on a regular basis.
Firewalls also vary depending on the size of business, so opt for one designed for small businesses, which suits your data needs and budget. McAfee and SonicWall have some suitable options.
4. Malware removal
Anti-virus software will provide great overall protection, but it can miss some threats such as spyware and adware, which don’t act like other viruses. That’s where an anti-malware, or malware removal tool can provide additional support. One of the most popular is Malwarebytes’ anti-malware tool, which is totally free to use.
5. Virtual Private Network (VPN)
During this time of hybrid working, you'll likely have employees working and accessing files remotely. If so, a VPN ensures their work and data is as secure as if they were in the office.
VPNs work by creating a shielded private network within the public domain, which is why they’re also popular for enabling users to access geographically restricted content.
But there are lots of options targeted at security-conscious businesses too, at a range of price points and with support for multiple devices, including mobiles and tablets.
Some popular choices are ExpressVPN, Perimeter81 and NordLayer.
6. Password managers
Passwords are one of the banes of modern life – and one of your weakest points security-wise – with employees accessing countless websites and business tools every day, all with different logins.
It’s unrealistic to remember 50 different long, strong and unique passwords, and writing them down kind of defeats the point! With a password manager, you can store them all in a central, secure wallet, enabling you to get into all your accounts with a single tap.
There are plenty of free options out there including LastPass and Myki Password Manager, and if you want something with more functionality, invest in a paid for option such as Dashlane, Keeper Security or 1Password.
7. Back-up solutions
No cyber prevention or detection tool can keep everything out, which is why backing up is critical.
If your systems get locked down, damaged or destroyed, the only way you can recover your own data is through a recent back-up. You could do it the old-fashioned way, with an external tape drive or disk, but that requires remembering to back up regularly and manually.
A cloud backup solution will do the same job for you automatically. When researching the options, compare how quickly tools can recover your data, the size of data-sets they can hold, and how much encryption they have in place to protect your files. Arcserve and IDrive are good options for small businesses.
8. Cyber insurance
Even with all the tools in the world, hackers can still infiltrate your systems. If this happens, your cyber insurance should be able to cover fines you have incurred, financial loss from downtime suffered and damages or extortion payments following a hacking or ransomware breach.
At Superscript, you'll also gain access to our 24-hour breach response helpline, which provides you with professional legal, IT security and PR support to help your business deal with an incident from all angles.
Find out more information about our cyber liability insurance.
It’s a risky world out there, but with these tools on your side, hackers will be hard pressed to get their hands on your data - and if they do, you’ll be ready. So, don’t leave it too late to tool up!
What else you can do
While installing the right tools will go some way to securing your systems, there are plenty of other steps you can take to ensure your cyber defenses are watertight.
To help, we've compiled an essential cybersecurity checklist, which contains simple things you can do to avoid cyber attacks from happening in the first place – and it's free!
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