How to reduce the risk of cyber security breaches

Whilst they don?t need to go to the length of understanding every type of attack method, staff should have an awareness of the dangers that exist, their consequences and maintain a responsibility for simple measures that can be applied in house to reduce this risk.

1. Software updates

It?s important to regularly update your software and always when prompted, as these contain security patches. Make sure you read pop-ups for software updates before you click them and regularly check your anti-virus is working and scanning your system regularly.

2. Programmes and files

Delete and uninstall programmes and files that are not in use as malware and malicious code can sit within dormant files. Tidy your files into secure locations and password protect confidential information. It is also worth setting permissions on files so only authorised personnel can access them.

3. Web browser

Clear the cache, cookies and temp files once a week. Importantly, don?t save passwords for online accounts so that the fields stay pre-filled. Always check the URLs for sites you visit to ensure they are legitimate.

4. Encryption

Use encrypted USB sticks and encryption software on laptops, tablets and mobiles to prevent access if they are lost. Always remove USB sticks from your computer and lock them away when not in use.

5. Lock your PC when leaving your desk

Holding the Windows key and pressing ?L? will lock your screen. Never put documents straight into the bin. Ensure they are sent for shredding or the information has been removed so it can?t be copied or stolen.

Stephen Robinson is managing director at Xyone Cyber Security which provides a range of penetration testing and consultancy services for SMEs, public sector organisations and larger corporates looking to protect their business and enhance overall security of their IT systems and web applications.

Stephen Robinson is managing director at Xyone Cyber Security.

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