Cyber Security – How aware are you of the growing risk?

Majority of business now have their data stored within a network and its availability will determine productivity, so one cannot afford to take the view ‘it would never happen to me’ as in a recent PWC study 87% of SME’s and 97% of large corporations experienced a form of security breach last year! So, why in a recent BT study it showed that only 17% of UK businesses class it as a main IT priority compared to 41% in the US?

Data breaches can have huge implications such as financial losses to damages to brand reputation. For example in the PWC report states the average cost of a breach to a SME is £35k – £65k and to a large corporation it is £450k – £850k!

Financial losses such as these will undoubtedly disrupt cash flow and create a dent in the company finances, causing a knock-on-effects on operations. So with consequences such as this, why are only a small amount of UK businesses worried about Cyber Security and have it as a priority, could it be the lack of knowledge on the topic?

It is a common belief that data breaches are from external threats but, it has been suggested employees often play a key role in breaches – like the PWC report states ‘serious security breaches are often due to multiple failures in technology, processes and people’.

This is further reinforced by Avecto recent article suggesting ‘that removing admin rights would mitigate 96% of critical vulnerabilities affecting Windows operating systems, 91% of critical vulnerabilities affecting Microsoft Office and 100% of vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer.’

This highlights the value of educating employees on security procedures that need to be followed and what the implications are if they are not. It also shows by having the correct privileges or admin rights in place for each user depending on their job role can make a significant difference in safeguarding the IT network.

When facing Cyber Security an attitude of safeguarding and it might happen to me is required. By being proactive to maintain a secure IT network environment, a need for continuous monitoring and amendments and most importantly educate employees on cyber security.

For more information or advice on IT security please contact us

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Ready to say goodbye to Windows XP? Only 60 days…

In the past few weeks it has been eventful at the Microsoft camp with a new CEO, rumours of Windows 9, Window 8 updates and of course the End of Support for Windows XP…

Although the End of Support is still happening (only 60 days away) on the 8th April, Microsoft recently announced they will continue to supply anti-malware signatures until April 15th 2015 but, this does not include security updates. Since the release there has been some confusion as to what is happening – Windows XP end of support is still happening but, to clarify this anti-malware extension means –

“For enterprise customers, this applies to System Center Endpoint Protection, Forefront Client Security, Forefront Endpoint Protection and Windows Intune running on Windows XP. For consumers, this applies to Microsoft Security Essentials.” stated in recent Microsoft blog.

Therefore, the extension does not really do much for Windows XP users, it will still leave big security gaps in the system because users will not have any new patches or updates from April 2014.

If your still on XP it is time to move on, to help ensure that your business is not exposed to unnecessary security and compliance risks just because the operating system in use is no longer supported.

For more information on what ‘End of Support’ means check out our earlier posts. For help moving from the 13 year old operating system or advice on which operating system to upgrade to please contact us today.

Data Backup – Why is it Important to Carry Out?

Corporations often rely heavily on data to be operational but, what happens if suddenly the data is gone, compromised or corrupted? Would the business be able to resume operations quickly? According to the Strategic Research Institute, companies who are unable to resume processes within 10 days in event of a disaster are unlikely to survive more than a year!

By securely backing-up business data and applications it could aid the survival of a company if there was a issue because it provides contingency – a backup could be the saviour of a data disaster.

Data loss can occur due to a number of reasons like the business being a victim of cybercrime, human errors, data corruption, hardware failures and even natural disasters. By having data backup in place it would help lower the potential negative impact on the business due to data loss related issues.

As data incidences cannot be predicted corporations must schedule regular backup’s. The term ‘regular’ is dependent on the type of data that is being backup up. For example for data files that are used and amended everyday, it should be backed-up every day.

It is great to carry out backup procedures and schedule it regularly but, it is another story as to whether the backup has actually worked – it has been found that companies that tested tape backup sources found discrepancies or failures in the data 77% of the time.

So, good practice would be to regularly check whether the data is correctly stored, especially when using traditional tape backup. If you are currently in the process of choosing a backup solution, a ‘Cloud Backup’ solution is said to be more reliable and accurate compared to traditional tape. For more information on Data Backup and Recovery Services that Netshield offers please contact us today.