The internet brings such a huge scope of business benefits and opportunities; from the email orders you receive to your e-billing system, the internet is intrinsic to the future of your business. However, did you know that 60% of SMEs in 2014 experienced a cyber breach with the average cost of the worst breaches ranging from £65,000 – £115,000 (HM GOV).

It can happen to anyone, even you. Lost or stolen mobile devices can result in lost company files and data. Malicious hackers or malware can disrupt business and steal critical data and systems can go down unexpectedly. But you can help keep your data protected, control access to information, and restore your systems with technologies built with your security in mind. Here are 8 top security tips to safeguard your business.

1) Download software updatesDownload software and app updates as soon as they appear. They contain vital security upgrades that keep your devices and business information safe.

2) Manage user privilegesBe careful who you dedicate user privilege rights to. Restrict staff and third parties access to your IT equipment, systems and information. Keep items physically secure to prevent unauthorised access.

3) Malware protectionInstall anti-virus software on all devices to help prevent infection. Your computers, tablets and smartphones can become easily infected by viruses or malware.

4) Use strong passwordsCreate a strong password using a lower and upper case letters, numbers and special characters. A combination of these will make your passwords hard to break.

5) Delete suspicious emailsBe careful to delete suspicious looking emails. They may contain fraudulent requests for sensitive information or links to viruses.

6) Manage removable mediaRestrict the use of removable media such as USB drives, CDs and DVDs. To protect this data, look to move to the cloud where you will be able to access your data from any device, location and choose who to share your documents with.

7) Train your staffMake your staff aware of cyber security, threats and how to deal with them. The Government offers free online training courses for you and your staff which take around 60 minutes to complete.

8) Count on the reliability of the cloudGet right back to work when you rely on the financially backed 99.9% uptime service guarantee for Microsoft online services like Office 365 and Microsoft Azure.

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