Whether you’re a team of one or an organisation with 100s of engineers out onsite, it’s necessary to consider the security of your business. Cyber security is of high importance and cyber security breaches pose a high threat. In fact, the official statistics from the UK Government’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2022 state that 39% of businesses have reported having cyber security breaches or attacks in the last 12 months (published 30th March 2022).
With so much of our lives – work and personal – online, it’s vital to protect your business from potential attacks. Government-backed schemes such as Cyber Essentials can solidify your existing network security setup. It also highlights areas for improvement.
We’ll take a look at what these schemes are and what other measures are available to protect companies from cyber-attacks.
What is Information Security?
Information security, or InfoSec, refers to a set of methods that protects sensitive information from unauthorised access, including misuse, disruptions or destruction. These processes identify sources of threat and lay out the best practices to protect applications and their data.
Information Security Management Systems (ISMS)
So how do you protect your information? Let’s look at information security management systems and how they can better prepare you and your business.
What is an ISMS?
An ISMS, or information security management system, is a security framework of policies and procedures that define a business’ approach to information security.
Having an ISMS helps formalise any policies and procedures you already have in place. It also helps protect your valuable assets, such as intellectual property, organisational information, customer data and more.
These policies set out the process of safeguarding assets and how these activities are to be managed. Typically, an ISMS contains:
- Information security policy
- Risk treatment plan
- Inventory of important information assets
- Assessment of risks to those assets
- ISMS manual
- A comprehensive suite of processes, policies, procedures and work instructions
ISO/IEC 27001 is an international standard for ISMS. It defines requirements that must be met in order to comply and be certified. Complying with ISO/IEC 27001 demonstrates that a business has put a system in place that respects all the best practices set out by the standard.
This International Standard adopts the ‘Plan-Do-Check-Act’ (PDCA) model, which can assist with structuring ISMS processes in line with ISO/IEC 27001. This procedure acts as a cycle to ensure there is continuous improvement at each stage.
Secondly, we’ll be taking a look at penetration testing and how it can check for vulnerabilities in your internal infrastructure.
What is Penetration Testing?
External network penetration testing, or pen testing, refers to the process of identifying vulnerabilities within a network or system. This is carried out through a series of authorised, simulated cyberattacks to find and purposely exploit any issues with the computer system’s security.
This ethical hacking method is carried out in a series of stages:
- Planning and gathering information.
- Pre-attack to identify any potential entry points.
- Attempt a simulated attack.
- Results and findings are fed back to the company’s IT/security team.
You can also choose the level of penetration testing to suit you and your business.
Why Penetration Testing is Important
The objective of penetration testing is to identify any potential issues with your network before they are exploited by hackers or attackers. This way, you can add preventative measures to better develop your network security.
Simulating an ethical attack in this way, where it can be controlled and measured, prepares you for real-world attacks. It also highlights any weak spots in your current network setup. It’s important to understand how cyber-attacks could potentially affect your business. This way, you can establish what your business needs to do to prevent them.
Next, let’s take a look at the Cyber Essentials scheme and how it can help your business better prepare for security breaches.
What is Cyber Essentials?
Cyber Essentials is a Government-backed scheme that prepares your business for potential cyber-attacks.
It’s suitable for businesses of any size. So whether you’re a large organisation or SME (small and medium-sized enterprises), you’ll be able to utilise this scheme to fortify your IT security.
There are two levels of certification available: Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus. The first option is a self-assessment to protect you from some of the most common types of cyber-attacks. Cyber Essentials Plus provides the protection you need from attacks as well as hands-on technical verification.
Why are Cyber Essentials and Cyber Security Important?
Cyber Essentials provides certified cyber security for your business. Reflecting on your current IT security and potential cyber risks can have many benefits.
The primary benefit is it brings attention to vulnerabilities that you need to strengthen to prevent future attacks. You can then decide how to take the necessary precautions to make sure these vulnerabilities don’t get exploited by hackers.
Cyber security is vital in our technology-driven era. Nowadays there are more potential threats and more need for safeguarding precautions. Cyber security protects your valuable data from these growing threats and reassures your customers that their data is safe with you.
What it Means For Clik
Here at Clik, we take security seriously. We have a dedicated IT manager that keeps everything running smoothly. We wanted to walk through some of our most recent security checks.
In August 2023, we carried out the required steps to become ISO 27001 compliant. Following our audit, we were approved by Alcumus ISOQAR and proved to be compliant with the requirements of ISO 27001: 2013. We’ll be continuously reviewing and improving our own ISMS going forward to ensure we are carrying out the appropriate steps to reduce vulnerability and respond to ever-evolving security risks.
We have certified our dedication to security by completing our Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus accreditations. Not only that, but we also performed two rounds of pen testing. This included a level 2 external infrastructure penetration test, which provides a more thorough assessment of our security.
Along the same lines of penetration testing, we then had our Clik Cert (Field) app tested for vulnerabilities and issues. This basically helps to mitigate any threats from determined attackers who would manually probe the mobile apps.
Results from our tests came back excellent, with no critical or high vulnerabilities found. We do this to reassure our customers that we are always working on securing our IT and software.
Other Ways to Secure Your Business
What can you do to further increase your software security? If you’re a Clik software user, there are a few other ways you can fortify security when using our products.
Firstly, make sure you have a strong password in place. When setting up your users, make sure you use unique and harder for hackers to crack.
Next, if you use Clik Remote, make sure you have an SSL in place. An SSL provides extra precautions to keep your data safe when you are accessing it over an internet connection. It makes your Clik Remote site secure for your users to safely access wherever they are.
For even more information about security and the methods mentioned in this blog, check out the further reading list below.
- IT Governance: What an ISMS is and 5 reasons your organisation should implement one
- IT Governance: External Network Penetration Testing
- NCSC: About Cyber Essentials