Tom Henson, Managing Director of First Solution, answers some frequently asked cyber security questions…
How can I easily reduce the chances of a cyber attack?
There is a simple (and often free) tool which is now commonplace, but it’s surprising how many businesses still don’t use it – multi-factor authentication (MFA). After typing in your password, you have to input a unique code (delivered via text message or via an app) which expires after a short time. You’re the only person with access to that code, so even if a cybercriminal knows your password, they won’t be able to log in to your account. Most of the customers we’ve onboarded recently haven’t had MFA enabled, so implementing it is one of the first actions we take.
Does having a strong cyber defence mean spending a lot of money?
Not at all! There are thousands of different cyber security solutions available, but it’s about choosing the right ones for your business. One low-cost option that most of our customers take advantage of is Microsoft Defender for 365. Defender is a cloud-based email filtering service which uses AI to analyse email patterns, helping it to distinguish between legitimate and spoofed senders, as well as leveraging machine learning to filter out messages detected as phishing attempts. Infected attachments and malicious links have long been a problem, but Defender opens and scans them in the cloud before you even see the email, ensuring your inbox is kept threat-free. It’s bundled in as part of the Microsoft 365 Business Premium license at just £15.10 a month (which also includes email, Office apps and cloud storage).
I’ve seen a lot of headlines about ransomware recently – is my business safe?
In recent months there have been some severe and high-profile ransomware attacks like the Colonial Pipeline and Kaseya. Whilst those attacks were on large companies, it doesn’t mean SMEs are safe. SMEs are generally seen as easy targets to cybercriminals, often having weaker cyber defences and a lack of cyber security awareness training. Traditional antivirus software isn’t always capable of stopping ransomware, so you need something more powerful to drastically reduce the chances of an attack succeeding.
To protect against more sophisticated attacks, we have two advanced solutions that we turn to – Next Generation Anti-Virus and a Zero Trust Platform. These platforms use a combination of machine learning, behavioural analysis and AI to build a profile of what ‘normal’ device usage looks like, and block activities that do not fit this profile. For example, if a device is used in the middle of the night, goes to a suspicious website and downloads a program which attempts to encrypt files, both of these platforms would be able to block this activity – even if the virus was a new one that hadn’t been seen before.
For an audit of your existing cyber security, and to find out more about implementing our advanced solutions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about various cyber threats and solutions, visit our website – www.firstsolution.co.uk