Advice for businesses

For almost every modern business, the ability to safely email, work remotely and operate a website is crucial to its everyday operation and success. The basic safety rules are similar to those we apply to our personal computers and other communication devices, but there are a number of differences which are based mainly around the number of different people working in the business, and a duty of care to protect not only itself but also its customers and other parties.

With the increasing use of the internet to do business, cyber security is something all businesses should be aware of.

Cyber security is about protecting your computer-based equipment and information from unintended or unauthorised access, change or destruction.

Most of us now use the internet to do business, to advertise and sell, find new markets, communicate with customers and suppliers, and carry out our financial transactions. The internet brings huge opportunities and benefits. But it also brings risks. Every day there are attacks on the IT systems of UK companies like yours, attempting to steal your information and money or disrupt your business.

You can never be totally safe, but most online attacks can be prevented or detected with basic security practices for your people, processes and IT systems. These security practices are as important as locking your doors or putting your cash in a safe. You can manage your online security in the same way you would protect any other aspect of your business. With more customers demanding that their suppliers are secure, this is becoming a business necessity.

You can save money through adopting an efficient risk management approach - plan, implement and review. You can gain a competitive advantage by being seen to take security seriously. Good security can be an enabler for a thriving business: you will be protecting your assets, your reputation, your customers, and your peace of mind.

For more information on how to protect your business from fraud visit Action Fraud's website or see the little book of cyberscams and Little Book of Big Scams Business Edition.

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