How secure are your Networks and Data?

Businesses today face a complex barrage of IT security threats and potential data corruption or loss. The systems we come to rely upon day-to-day are becoming overwhelmingly complicated and the cost of system downtime is unthinkable. EU legislation around data protection means that fines for confidential data loss could cripple some firms. But it’s not all doom and gloom though, as Network Security Specialist Nick Ross, of Epoq-IT partner Sophos, explained to the Chamber’s February networking meeting.

Nick Ross of Sophos, presenting to Chiltern ChamberNick started with an authoritative run-down of the ‘threatosphere’, the latest IT security threats affecting businesses today. He then explained measures that organisations can take to protect against exploitation and data loss.

Some of the numbers were staggering, almost mesmerising… Did you know that a new malicious ‘malware’ URL is created every 2-3 seconds? And that around two-thirds of them are directly monetized?

Some of the ‘threats’ come not only from criminals – EU legislation expected in the next couple of years will put punitive fines on loss of data through negligence.

Data must, therefore, be protected. Nick shared tactics and advice for protecting networks and data, under several headings:

  • Do the basics: educate users; enforce policies; update software regularly with security patches.
  • Layered Protection: don’t just rely on desktop anti-virus – for networks, protect gateways and endpoints.
  • Mobile protection: install anti-virus protection; don’t wilfully ‘jailbreak’ or ‘root’, ie circumvent built-in security protections on downloads; consider how you use public Wi-Fi.
  • Protect your Online Assets: ensure your web site is secure, and think about the information you release via your social media presence.

The good news is that much can be achieved by common sense and use of protection systems. But we should not be complacent, and in particular Nick exploded some common myths:

  • Myth #1: “I’m too small to be targetted”
  • Myth #2: “I’ve no data worth stealing”
  • Myth #3: “I’m OK, I have desktop anti-virus software, and anyway…”
  • Myth #4: “Macs and Apple products don’t need anti-virus protection”

Click here to access a PDF version of the full Sophos Cybersecurity Presentation (2.7MB)

This presentation was organised with the help of Chamber member Epoq IT. Epoq IT is an award winning, business savvy, IT managed services company providing support to companies of all sizes. Cyber security is one of the threats that the rapidly evolving IT landscape presents all businesses in today’s world. If you’re unsure of the technology status of your business you may benefit from Epoq’s IT Health Check