The National Cyber Security Centre has shared their advice on how to minimise damage and increase cyber safety in your organization

Running a small business can be a real challenge, as any entrepreneur will know. Unexpected threats can crop up at any time, and this includes cyber incidents. In these cases, it can be difficult to know how to react. You will want to resolve the problem as soon as possible so you can carry on with business as usual.

That’s why the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has produced its Small Business Guide to Response and Recovery. This includes 5 key steps to handling a cyber incident, which we’ve outlined below.

 

Prepare in advance

 

 

The first stage to effect cyber security management is to start preparing for incidents before they occur. Start by identifying your critical systems and assets; the ones which are most essential to your daily routine. Make regular back-ups of important documents so information can be easily restored.

Prioritise what’s important to your business and question what you’re doing to protect these factors. Make risk awareness an active part of your management by creating an incident plan and keeping your employees informed.

 

Gain an understanding of the situation

 

 

Keep an eye out for common warning signs which can give you a head start when it comes to understanding the reality of cyber incident. These warning signs include

  • Computers running slowly
  • Users being locked out of their accounts
  • Being unable to access documents
  • Redirected internet searches
  • Unusual account activity
  • Strange emails and demand messages

Work to contain and resolve the problem

 

 

Resolving the incident involves putting the incident plan you made back in step one into practice. This will likely include replacing infected hardware, restoring services through backups, patching software, cleaning infected machines and changing all passwords.

If your IT is managed externally, you’ll have to contact your providers and let them know of the situation so they can remedy it.

 

Make sure you report the incident

 

 

 

Remember, a cyber attack is a crime. Once the incident is under control and the crisis period has passed, be sure to report it to law enforcement via Action Fraud. It’s strongly recommended that you report any cyber incidents that occur within your business, as many go unreported due to personal embarrassment.

Reporting the incident can stop similar problems occurring for other organizations. You should also keep your staff fully updated on the situation.

 

Put measures in place to avoid future incidents

 

 

 

Now that the incident has passed, collate and review the actions you documented throughout the response and make a list of things which went well and things which could be improved. If necessary, make changes to your incident plan to make it more effective.

You should also take a long hard look at your tech and see where you can strengthen your defences to stop something similar happening again.

 

Figures from the NCSC reveal the damage that cyber security threats can cause

 

 

 

 

 

You might think it won’t happen to you, but dealing with cybercrime is a reality for an increasing number of UK business. Almost a third (32%) have identified cyber security breaches or attacks within the last 12 months, costing an annual average of £4,180.

Of these businesses, 32% needed new measures to prevent future attacks, 21% took up staff time dealing with the incident and 19% had to stop staff carrying out daily work altogether.

48% of these businesses identified at least one breach or attack a month.

 

For help and advice regarding any aspect on your small business, contact the team at TEDCO Business Support today. Get in touch by calling 0191 516 61 02 or via email at hello@tedco.org.

 

SOURCE: Images supplied by www.ncsc.gov.uk

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TEDCO offers one-on-one support provided by a dedicated team of business advisors and a range of pre start seminars available to clients who are taking the first steps into self-employment. This could be looking at an initial idea and developing it further, looking at how to start a business plan, business competitors, business marketing.

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