There are many risks involved when running a business, the monetary loss being one of the major security issues that you may face. A lesser risk is that of data loss, which can easily occur as a result of workers being careless or accessing company data offsite. With the rise of remote working, this has become more and more common in the modern workforce.

The security of company data is an ongoing issue for companies UK-wide. Recently, Apricorn – leading provider of software-free and encrypted USB drives – announced new researchregarding the security risks involved in the lack of protection regarding data.

Strategy

Surprisingly, the data found that a third of those participating had already experienced data loss or breach as a result of mobile working. Many had no protocol in place for remote working, meaning that their data was continually at risk; something that they were aware of. Many companies conceded that although security measures were in place, they had no real way to enforce them. Such a gap in security is a huge risk for the delicate data of the company and poses a dilemma for company strategy going forward.

Further Security Risks

Compact discs, pen drives and other removable devices were also a risk exposed by the study. Easy to lose or steal, they also posed a threat of introducing malware to the network from employee’s personal devices. Some try to curtail this and use cloud storage in order to allow remote workers access to the files they need to work; however, this too poses certain risks, such as numerous accounts that are unmonitored, susceptibility to being hacked without proper security in place and data leakage as a result of weak user credentials.

The financial implications of these risks are great, only increasing the larger your company becomes and the more financially successful. More so in 2018, when enforcement by the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will introduce even heftier fines, something which many UK-based companies seem to be largely unaware of.

Further training and protocols regarding data safety is a must in order to help keep data safe when being accessed by remote workers. As the new generation of workers become more technologically savvy, security measures may be easier to enforce as we anticipate them to have the knowledge and a better understanding of how the hardware works. It remains an important consideration for the younger generations to remain vigilant when it comes to matters of data security. A decrease in concern could mean that data becomes more at risk than ever.

Call Nisyst today and see what we can do for you and your business to minimise security risks.

Even with today’s technology and ever-advancing levels of security, cyber-attacks can still occur. And now, more than ever, charities are being urged to protect themselves against a specific type of cyber-attack; ransomware.

The ‘WannaCry’ ransomware, in particular, has been targeting Microsoft Windows since Friday, 12 May 2017. More than 230,000 computers in 150 countries have already been affected. WannaCry demands ransom payments in bitcoin, a type of digital currency, in 28 different languages.

This highlights just how important it is for charities to be protected.

 

Are Charities at Risk?

It’s not clear yet whether charities are affected by WannaCry, but the truth is that IT systems and existing protection need to be kept updated at all times. After all, according to James Mulhern, chief information security officer at Eduserv, “charities are a big target for cyber criminals because they have valuable data, including personal information which is of huge value to attackers.”

The Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2017 also reveals that almost seven in ten companies identified a breach or attack. Businesses that hold electronic personal data were more likely to suffer from breaches (51%) than those that don’t (37%), which showcases the severity of this issue and why charities need to be protected against cyber-attacks.

The most common attacks occur through fraudulent emails, which try to get staff and consumers to reveal personal information, as well as passwords. Malware and viruses in attachments and links are also common, as is ransomware.

How Can Charities Remain Protected?

Charities can protect themselves by using donated security software, according to Richard Craig, CEO of charity software specialist Technology Trust:

“A lot of the problems have been caused by organisations using legacy systems, predominantly Windows XP, which is no longer supported by Microsoft. It’s understandable that charities try to send as much money through to their cause but this shows what can go wrong if you postpone upgrading. Microsoft donates Windows operating systems to charities so that at least takes a lot of the cost away.”

Backing up systems, having an up-to-date antivirus in place, and investing in high-quality technology can minimise the risks of cyber-attacks. It is also important that staff have the necessary skills to identify an attack or to respond to it, so make sure everyone is trained in cyber security (or has enough knowledge of it).

At Nisyst, we strive to make charities safer than before, be it to prevent ransomware or any other security breaches. We have extensive experience in the way volunteers work and have worked closely with many charity IT departments to advise on and implement best practice at the retail point for greater security. So book a demo or call us on 01204 706 000 and we’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have about our technology and to discuss how we can help you to become a safer charity.