In wake of the 2018 widely publicised Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal, where Facebook users’ personal data was collected and used for political campaigns, the increasing necessity to protect a business’ cyber security has become known. Immediately following the privacy breaches, Facebook’s market value decreased by over $119 billion, and users’ trust in the platform hit an all-time low. If the Cambridge Analytica scandal taught us anything, it’s that a strong cyber security strategy is key to overall business performance.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak told Lateline that “cyber crime [is] the greatest threat the world faces” likening it to the cold war nuclear hysteria of his childhood. So in a day and age where “cyber-attack” is not only a buzzword, but a legitimate threat, how do we protect ourselves and our businesses?

Here are 5 simple, but fundamental tips this International Cyber Security Day to help strengthen the cyber safety of your company:

1.       Secure your Wifi networks

If your business has a Wifi network, make sure it is secure and hidden. If it is not, you may be susceptible to cyber-attacks in which the attackers can view files on your devices, spread a virus, monitor the websites your team visits, slow down your Internet connection or send spam.

2.       Install anti-virus software & firewalls

Anti-virus software and firewalls are imperative in creating a secure workplace. In order to have them work most effectively, be sure to set scheduled checks and scans on all company computers. This will ensure that any bugs or viruses will be picked up on and can be remedied immediately.

3.       Keep all important data backed up

Encrypting and backing up data seems like a simple step, however if neglected can open your company up to be a target of cybercrime. Malware and ransomware may steal your data, making it inaccessible to employees.  If your company data is backed up, then you and your company will be prepared to recover any important documents that you may lose in a cyber-attack.

4.       Secure corporate AND employee-owned devices

In order to protect your business against data breaches, it is important to make sure all corporate devices are secure. In addition to this, employees are often allowed to use their own devices at work, whether in office premises or a remote location. In order to protect these devices from cyber-attacks, the best practice is to install information security software on all company-owned and employee-owned devices that are connected to the company network.

5.       Keep your employees up to date on cyber security risks

At Savv-e, we've seen that an organisation's defences are only as strong as its employees. An inclusive learning program is crucial to building capability, and ensuring that each member of your team can understand and respond to cyber security threats.

Knowing where exactly these threats come from will help to form your company’s overall cyber security strategy.

Although it’s impossible to eliminate these risks completely, there are several measures you can take to best protect your business.

The nature of cybercrime itself is changing constantly, so it’s important to make cyber security an ongoing consideration. Be sure to update your cyber security policy regularly, keeping your staff supported and informed at every stage. By doing so, you’ll create a strong security culture and make data protection the responsibility of every employee.

Remember that cyber security threats bring serious business risks, not just IT problems!

Savv-e was engaged by Commbank to raise awareness of cyber security and of the role an organisation’s staff plays as the front line to cyber threats. By developing a series of short micro-learning modules titled ‘Cool, calm and connected’, over 55,000 diverse, time-poor staff members were informed and educated on cyber safety risks and how to overcome them.

Make digital learning a cornerstone of your cyber security strategy. To help bring your team up to speed on the cyber security basics, we’ve created a Ready to Go module for an interactive and engaging method of compliance training. We also offer custom-built eLearning solutions tailored specifically to your cyber security policy.

Empowered and informed employees are an essential part of any cyber security strategy – leave the hard work in our hands!