How to stay safe on-line

This morning I attended the launch of the third Annual Review by the National Cyber Security Centre.

Ciaran Martin, the CEO of the NCSC, provided an overview of the work of the NCSC over the past year. The NCSC has done some excellent work in helping prevent cyber attacks, identifying cyber criminals and providing practical advice to UK businesses.

In 2019 the NCSC handled some 658 serious cyber incidents, took down 177,335 phishing URLs and produced 154 threat assessments.  On-line life is at the heart of our business and personal lives today. Criminals have access to a vast range of tools and resources to help them steal personal and business data. Thanks to the efforts of the NCSC, and others, the “cost” of committing a crime to the criminals is increasing all the time.  Despite the good progress made so far to combat on-line criminals, we all need to careful when transacting business on-line.

What can I do to protect myself on-line?

Protecting yourself and your data from criminal activity need not be costly or overly complicated. Reducing cyber risk for any organisation can be considered in three parts.

  • People – making them aware of the threats and ensuring they know how to work securely.
  • Processes – examples include making use of good passwords, second-factor authentication, data backups or controlling access to data.
  • Technology – using encryption, malware protection and firewalls are all examples of technology that can help protect data.

The first step is to understand the threats.  Here the free NCSC Staff Awareness training can help. Once you are aware of the threats you can take steps to protect your business. The NSCS has a useful page of guidance for Small Businesses. Finally, there is good practice for the use of technology

The Tech Faculty has a range of resources to help members reduce their cyber risk. These can be found on our cyber hub  The free 10 Steps to Cyber Security for Smaller Firms being an excellent way to get started.