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Warning greater vigilance needed against cyber attacks

By James Pugh | Business | Published:

Businesses are urged to be extra vigilant against cyber attacks after airline company easyJet admits to serious data hack.

Shaun Carvill, managing director of Clickingmad

Shaun Carvill, managing director of Bridgnorth-based web design company Clickingmad, said the high-profile case highlighted the vulnerability of businesses large and small and stressed the need for greater awareness among the business community, particularly with increased opportunities for hackers as more people worked from home.

EasyJet admitted that a “highly sophisticated cyber attack” had affected approximately nine million of its customers. The UK’s Information Commissioner’s office is now investigating the breach.

Mr Carvill said: “This case demonstrates that no business is immune to the risk of a cyber attack and we would urge all businesses to review their online security in light of it. The consequences of such attacks can cause significant damage and leave companies open to huge financial penalties.

“With more and more people connecting to company infrastructures from home during lockdown, the risk of attacks are heightened and therefore business owners and their employees must be extremely cautious.”

Clickingmad, which warned business owners back in March about the increased risk of cyber attacks posed by increased home-working, advised businesses to make sure their employees had password protected hardware and accounts to improve security and that they were connecting to the company’s Virtual Private Network (VPN) in a secure manner.

He added that it was also very important to make sure that employees didn’t mix business with pleasure and that they were aware of phishing emails and those containing malicious content.

To reduce risk, businesses should make sure their employees know to run weekly anti-virus updates; make passwords impossible to guess; not to open attachments if the originator is unknown; know that banks will not ask their customers to confirm details online and rather than clicking on web links, use a website browser to search for websites.

“Because of home-working, many people are using work computers for shopping, social media and chatting,” said Mr Carvill.

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“This is to be expected under the unusual circumstances we are now in but people need to be aware that they could potentially compromising their company’s data security policies by doing so.

“It’s also a good idea to remind employees to keep work devices away from family members, especially children who are easily tricked into downloading malicious content on a device, which may then compromise that device and in turn impact on the company network.”

Mr Carvill urged businesses to make sure IT departments proactively engaged with employees regularly and that any suspected breaches or scams were reported immediately.

James Pugh

By James Pugh
@JamesP_Star

Shropshire Star Business and Farming Editor.

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