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23 Nov 2017

How can you combat the cybersecurity challenge of digital transformation?

With every technological innovation comes a new process of adaptation for businesses, but how can organisations ensure they are mitigating the cybersecurity risk?

Through the use of BYOD and off-site working via the cloud, small businesses have never been more connected to their clients. Although organisations are seeing tangible benefits, it’s no surprise that new technology is leading to an increased vulnerability to cyber attacks.

According to the Cyber Security Breaches Survey, in 2016/17 half of all firms in the UK experienced a cyber attack. These findings solidify the importance for organisations to be aware of the potential risks present in your organisation.

This article will explain how you can mitigate your vulnerability to cyber threats when using mobile devices and providing wireless internet.

Mobile Devices

Allowing employees to use personal devices offers a wide range of benefits to businesses, including minimising costs, increasing flexibility and thus becoming more agile and responsive to customer demand. However introducing BYOD policies can also leave organisations increasingly vulnerable to security threats:

  • It’s harder to protect valuable business information as personal devices don’t have the same level of IT security measures that company owned devices have.
  • Enforcing data protection is a challenge, for example data may be accidentally shared with those who have no right to see it.
  • IT departments lose control over the hardware and the applications or programs that are installed, how devices are secured and what files are downloaded.
  • All company documents need to be compatible with a variety of operating systems.
  • Employees can walk away from the company with a significant amount of company data still on their personal device. Similarly, if a device is lost or stolen, it can pose a huge security risk.

To prevent such events, companies must have plans and procedures in place that outline how to overcome these risks. One strategy could include making it compulsory for all apps that are used to access company information should be protected using two-factor authentication for an extra layer of security.

Internet Access

It is now common practice for organisations to provide Wi-Fi access on-site, providing an internet connection to both employees and visitors. However people who are able to connect to your wireless router or network may be able to:

  • View all files on your organisation’s network and spread a virus.
  • Monitor all website traffic, copy your login names and passwords, and read emails as they travel through the network.
  • Send spam and/or perform illegal activities using your internet connection.

It’s important to know that Wi-Fi isn’t restricted by walls, therefore anyone within the vicinity of your organisation will be able to access your network. Wi-Fi signals are frequently broadcasted past the walls of the company and throughout the immediate area, enticing the hackers to get in.

Taking necessary steps to secure your network, such as using a strong password, introducing encryption methods and using a strong SSID can reduce an organisation’s vulnerability to cyber threats. The risk of cybersecurity should be at the forefront of every business strategy when it comes to introducing new technologies.

By being aware of your risks and having plans in place for such events, you are able to ensure that all staff members are equipped and know what to do in case of an emergency. It’s important to remember that you may not be able to prevent a cyber attack, but with a company wide communicated plan in place, you should have everything required to survive.

For more information on digital transformation and the cybersecurity risks surrounding going digital, download our free whitepaper here.

Alternatively, if you would like to find out how Smoothwall can help secure your organisation in the digital world, request to speak with one of our security specialists today.

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