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Sarah UKFast | Account Manager

Cyber Security: The Simple Starter Formula

4 October 2016 by Jenn Granger

First up, happy Cyber Security Month everyone! When it comes to protecting your data from attack there are as many solutions as there are threats. While it’s important to seek expert advice and make sure you have a security strategy in place tailored to your solution, there’s a pretty basic formula you can put in place to form your baseline strategy. And who said maths couldn’t be fun?

security formula

Last month we talked about the top cyber threats of 2016, so you’re well aware that there are lots of really fun things out there waiting to latch onto your system and bleed you dry. This has somehow turned into a vampire analogy so I’m going to roll with it. Luckily it turns out that maths is the hero that Gotham needs (now it’s Batman, sorry).

Our security arm Secarma has put together a simple formula that, if you bear it in mind and ingrain it into your whole team, will get you off to a great start for your security strategy. Think of it like garlic + stake + Sarah Michelle Gellar = dead vampire. It goes a little something like:

Test (infrastructure / web apps) + harden (infrastructure / web apps) + repeat = strong security foundation

If, like me, maths was never your forte, here’s what that means in human speak:

  1. Test – You need to be repeatedly testing your systems so that you know your weaknesses before would-be attackers do. This is both for infrastructure and web apps, and is carried out by ethical or ‘white hat’ hackers (the Scooby Gang, for any Buffy fans out there), via penetration testing. Pen testing basically scans for vulnerabilities then does a full-scale attack to figure out, from an attacker’s point of view, how they would get into your network. Genius, right?
  1. Harden – This might sound ridiculously obvious but it’s important to learn from mistakes and enforce stronger security as a result of it. No point having the info from the test if you’re not going to do anything about it, capiche?
  1. Repeat – One of the most common mistakes, says Secarma, is to put defences in place and then leave them there. Security is a continual process; attacks are evolving – as the ‘Top Threats of 2016’ showed, the most common threats change year on year – so your defences need to evolve too. It’s like protecting your castle against flamethrowers in 1950 – your attackers are going to be coming at you with tanks. Mortifying (or mortar-fying at least).

Educate your team on the importance of security, and sign up to newsletters and alerts to stay up to date – UKFast customers can sign up to our monthly security newsletter in MyUKFast for info on all the latest threats, tips and expert advice. Most importantly, don’t be complacent. Unlike vampires, cyber attackers are very real.

There’s really no time to waste, so stop listening to me mix metaphors – go out there and apply the magic formula. If you’ve got an in-house security team great, if you want to seek outside counsel then fantastic; just make sure you’re doing it. The internet is only as strong as its weakest link, and so is your company.

Now you’ve mastered the basics tune in next week for the next installment of our Cyber Security Month series! In the meantime, find out more about the security solutions that can help protect you on our website.