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Our top 5 tips for SMEs this #SaferInternetDay 2020

In celebration of #SaferInternetDay, we wanted to share some of our top tips to help you stay safe online. 

At Highstream, we pride ourselves on our commitment to providing IT solutions that are usually associated with large-scale enterprises to small and medium-sized businesses. According to a recent study by Microsoft, SMEs represent 95% of all companies in the world, and 55% of these were hit by a cyberattack and a further 25% suffered a breach of sensitive customer data. 

Those are some scary statistics but don’t worry. From our experienced team to yours, here are a couple of tips to bear in mind this #SaferInternetDay to keep yours and your clients’ data safe; 

1.    Be aware of phishing attacks

Social engineering can often be the thing that posts the most risk in businesses. Phishing attacks in the form of fraudulent emails will deceive individuals into divulging confidential or personal information. Often, these come through in the form of seemingly legitimate emails from colleagues requesting employees to action something. This results in their systems being vulnerable to hackers, placing private data at risk. 

2.    Keep things simple 

At Highstream, we always encourage people to keep things simple when it comes to keeping your data secure. Simple steps include ensuring only applications that apply to and are a requirement of your operational needs are used. Try not to let personal preference within the work environment result in the use of consumer-focused apps or services when selecting software and systems. 

3.    Know where responsibility lies 

If your business doesn’t have an IT specialist or a data protection officer, it’s important to have good security practices in place to ensure that someone is consistent in ensuring that data and systems are safe and protected. We would recommend implementing standard and approved systems and the management system should prioritise the education of staff members at all levels to be aware of security risks in their day to day use of IT systems. Ultimately, having someone who is exclusively responsible for spearheading the conversation with IT providers to ensure that all data and systems are secure is a great first line of defence. 

4.    Invest in Microsoft 365

From a personal perspective, our team at Highstream are advocates for the Microsoft Office suite of tools (we are also Microsoft Silver partners). Microsoft 365 Business has handy built-in security tools and provides a relatively simple and cost-effective way of adding extra layers of security to your business. Good examples include mobile device management, classification of data and specifying riles around who can access different types of data. 

5.    Partner up with a professional

Having an IT partner can really take the weight off your business and will also give you peace of mind when it comes to your data security. If you don’t have the capacity within your team to keep on top of data protection, partnering with a reputable IT firm will allow your business to focus on its own growth and strengths, leaving all the complex IT stuff to the experts.  

The Highstream team is experienced in getting the best value out of technology within business environments. We are experienced in confidently advising you on the best systems to keep your, and your business’ data, safe. 

Contact one of the team via 01244 952 500 or to find out more.