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A Telegraph report in 2016 stated that by the end of 2018, most British businesses will have been hit by cybercrime. The report referenced a “glut of online crime in London” but sadly this concern is not restricted to the capital, with businesses in the north of England just as vulnerable as their southern counterparts to cyber crime. With this risk in mind, it is vital for businesses in the north of England to look at what they can do to protect themselves before the worst happens as well as ensuring that, if the worst does happen, recovery time is as fast as possible – and the recovery processes as seamless as possible.

The Faceless Threat: Danger To Businesses Large And Small

We’re all familiar with the big stories of cyber crime against multi-national companies. The attack against RBS and Natwest customers is just one of the headline stories you’ll no doubt be able to recall, but not all attacks go as widely reported. Reported or not, it is clear that the frequency of cyber attacks, against businesses both large and small, is increasing, meaning that there is no time like the present to protect your business from this faceless threat.

“Nullen und Einsen – Digital mit Hacker I& (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Christoph Scholz

As with so many unwanted or dangerous aspects of life, the attitude of “it will never happen to me” is part of our ingrained self-preservation approach. However, it can – and it does – happen to business owners across the country. Bear in mind that West Yorkshire Police have taken it upon themselves to warn small businesses that they are at real risk from cyber crimes that could have disastrous consequences for their businesses.

Failover Solutions and Certification: Prevention And Recovery

Taking measures to protect against being attacked in the first place is important, but businesses that have survived cyber crime have usually benefited hugely from having seamless recovery processes in place. Never has the old adage “hope for the best; prepare for the worst” rung more true than with the digital crime landscape for small businesses.

“Data Breach” (CC BY 2.0) by Visual Content

Putting into place plans for out-of- the-blue system failure could include looking at failover solutions. Load balancing can be used to implement failover solutions that help to protect against unexpected system failure for reasons including cyber crime. Failover refers to the process of switching between primary and secondary systems in order to provide high availability (your websites and other digital assets being available to your staff and customers) as much as possible.

One of the simplest approaches here is to maintain a parallel system which acts as a standby and only kicks into action as and when needed. This is one of the more cost-effective failover solutions adopted by small to mid-size companies.

Along with minimising disruption by implementing a failover solution of some sort, taking steps to protect business credibility is also crucial. Making sure you offer secure PCI-compliant security like PCI DSS certification on your domain will prove to your customers and clients that you treat their personal details as securely as your own, again protecting your business as far as is possible from being undermined by criminals. The PCI standard consists of a series of specific requirements for maintaining a secure network and handling cardholder data.

Now is the time to embrace protecting your business and your digital assets from cyber attacks.

There are ever more effective defence mechanisms available to help with this ambition, so in 2017 there really is no reason for an owner of a business, whether large or small, to not work on making sure their website is as secure as possible.

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