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Latest News

Cyber Security (3)

SME and Cyber security in 2017

Cyber Security (3)Cyber security is often something many SMEs forget about. Only now in 2017, after a year of news littered with cyber hacks, do small businesses actively ensure their online data is secure. It’s been a long time coming with 2015 seeing 74% of small organisations in the UK reporting a security breach.

From a simple click of an email link to a ransomed encryption of company files – cyber security is not something SMEs can be complacent about. The average damage done per year from cyber security is €1.67 million worth. For SMEs, the most severe breaches cost can now reach as high as €361,233

So how does a business get “hacked”?

There are numerous breaches in online and database security that leave businesses incredibly vulnerable. According to the statistics released by cyber security firm Symantec, half (52.4%) of phishing attacks (carried out using fake emails) in December 2015 were against SMEs. SMEs, being low in security, are a primary target for hackers – the most common exploits are:

  1. Ransomware – a type of malicious software designed to block access to a company’s network until a sum of money is paid out. This is usually done through phishing emails and is the most common cyber-attack against SMEs.
  1. Main hacking – when a hacker directly accesses the company network due to lack of appropriate security. There, they can access company data and target the company’s customers’ information like credit card details.
  1. Social engineering – when hackers also use spoof email accounts – posing as CEO or higher management in order to get those with financial authority to make payments to the hacker.
  1. Denial of service attack (DoS) – a simple cyber-attack where the perpetrator seeks to make a company’s website or network unavailable to its intended users by temporarily or indefinitely overwhelming the server with a volume of malicious data. These attacks are very easy to carry out, costing less to nothing.
  1. Human error – an aspect that cannot be forgotten. People are general the most prone to causing security breaches. Information can be lost or even given to the wrong person.

How do I keep my business safe?

SMEs need to combat against these hacks with staff training to identify obvious threats and how to deal with them. A common reason why SMEs get hacked is due to staff being wholly unaware of the effect simply clicking a wrong link can have. Employees should be aware of emails that look suspicious and always check link locations when being redirected somewhere. Once these are confirmed to be safe only then should staff attempt to open any attachments.

Ensure all staff are using adequately strong passwords and make two-step authentication with a phone number a requirement for all accounts. Remind staff to avoid sharing private data when in use of public WiFi (say for instance, in a coffee shop), this will ensure no one is breaching the information shared through a public server.

Lastly, be wary of cloud storage. Anything you share on the cloud is open to be hacked. If you don’t want anyone to read it outside of company remits – don’t share it.  Also remind staff to delete things off the cloud if they’re deleting it off their computers. Many privacy experts state that anything you put on the cloud has a much higher chance of being published online. Get to know the practices of your cloud storage provider.

It seems simple and obvious but a careful procedure like this shown to all employees will ensure hackers have a tough time getting into your business. Hackers play off human error and negligence. Invest in a security system that ensures you’re protected. Expensive as this may be, it could prove critically important for the life of the business, as well as its customers and employees.

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Supporting SMEs

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Bord Gáis Energy Index

Bord Gáis Energy has a dedicated and skilled team of traders, based in Cork, which operates in the global market on a daily basis. Every month the team puts together the Energy Index, which explores market developments and price movements in oil, gas, coal and electricity.

The Energy Index is a way for Bord Gáis Energy to add an informed level of commentary to the public debate around global wholesale energy prices that impact every business and consumer in the country. As Ireland is dependent on imported fuels, the Index sheds valuable light on the global factors, forces and events that are shaping wholesale prices.

 

Latest Energy Index and press release

December Energy Index
December Press Release

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Legendary Leadership Brings Success

Legendary Leadership Brings Success

Legendary Leadership Brings Success
SFA Business Bytes Seminar May 2015 - Benefits of coaching – clarity

SFA Business Bytes Seminar May 2015 - Benefits of coaching – clarity

SFA Business Bytes Seminar May 2015 - What coaching is

SFA Business Bytes Seminar May 2015 - What coaching is

SFA Business Bytes Seminar May 2015 - Leadership styles

SFA Business Bytes Seminar May 2015 - Leadership styles

SFA Business Bytes Seminar May 2015 - Importance of listening

SFA Business Bytes Seminar May 2015 - Importance of listening

SFA Business Bytes Seminar May 2015 - GROW goal setting example

SFA Business Bytes Seminar May 2015 - GROW goal setting example

SFA Business Bytes Seminar May 2015 - Examples of coaching

SFA Business Bytes Seminar May 2015 - Examples of coaching

SFA Business Bytes Seminar May 2015 - Emotional intelligence

SFA Business Bytes Seminar May 2015 - Emotional intelligence

SFA Business Bytes Seminar May 2015 - De-stressing

SFA Business Bytes Seminar May 2015 - De-stressing

KEEP UPDATED WITH AT WORK

At Work is our quarterly publication full of SME news, helpful articles and competitions. If you have a topic suggestion or are interested in your business being featured in the next edition of At Work, let us know at atwork@bordgais.ie