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SMEs urged to make IT priority

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BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT is suggesting to SMEs to make security a priority. The former British Computer Society backs the initiative Get Safe Online which provides advice on what businesses can do to stay safe online.

David Evans, Director of Policy at BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT says: “In the age of digital services it is vital that SMEs find the best ways to keep the hackers at bay. SMEs often get overlooked as they don’t necessarily have an IT department to support this. However, there are still some simple, but effective steps that they can take to stay safe.

“Attacks can arise from a wide variety of sources including human error, a deliberate attack by an outsider or a malicious attack by a disgruntled member of staff. The IT team may well set out the security policies, but it’s really important that everyone plays their role in implementing these simple measures.”

The institute has some tips for SMEs:

– Implement a password policy that demands strong passwords that are at least 12 or more characters
– Ensure there is an adequate security policy in place.
– Encourage staff to think before they click, understand how to identify phishing and spam emails and know how to handle them
– Deploy firewalls within your computer network
– Subject your network to a penetration test
– Deploy a proxy server between internal and external network resources
– Secure your wireless routers
– If you’ve been breached, destroy at-risk data or equipment
– Ensure operating systems are regularly updated and staff know how to implement the updates
– Know your data responsibilities and ensure employees understand their role; the BCS Personal Data Guardianship Code can help with this: www.bcs.org/datacode.

For businesses looking for more help, the Institute has a guide to security available free at: www.bcs.org/security/toptips.


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