Clearswift’s top five tips to staying safe in 2013.

Businesses nationwide are set to begin 2013 with cyber security higher up the corporate agenda, thanks to the Government’s renewed efforts to educate and inform businesses at risk.

As the onus of the corporate induction often sits with the HR department, informing new staff about the company’s security policy also falls upon HR’s shoulders. Here Clearswift, the global cyber-security company, offers its advice on keeping your corporate network safe this January.

1.It’s not just the new staff that need to know

Your security policy has probably changed over recent years, meaning that your existing staff could probably do with a refresher on the dos and don’ts of online activity. A thirty-minute meeting now could save a business thousands of pounds and the impact of reputational damage further down the line.

2.Explore the consequences of a security problem
Organisations including HMRC, Dropbox, LinkedIn and Monster have all lost customer data in recent years and received lots of negative attention as a result. A data breach, whether accidental or malicious, will not only cause trouble in the short-term, but it will damage your firm’s reputation for the foreseeable future. Your staff are already brand ambassadors by definition. Make sure they understand how this translates to their online behaviour.

3. Don’t forget about employees’ own smart devices
If you allow staff to use their own smartphones, tablets, laptops and the sort, you need a policy to cover the use of these gadgets – especially what security they have in place for these devices and what happens to the data when they leave the organisation.

4. If it’s important to you, it’s important to someone else
Your organisation may not be on the frontline of critical national infrastructure, but your computer system will still hold information that is valuable to someone. Personal data aside, items such as quotes for new business projects are a prime target for cyber criminals who sell the information to competitors.

5. Get the right IT security for your business
Security measures are not there to hinder business, so choose the technology that suits your business. For example, if your organisation has a high turnover of staff in a particular business unit, you may wish to set parameters on the emails to ensure disgruntled staff don’t cause embarrassment by sending inappropriate emails. Likewise, if your company uses social media platforms heavily, you may wish to put in place a system to blacklist certain words from being posted.

The Author

By Guy Bunker, SVP of products at Clearswift – a global cyber security company