As the end of the financial year (EOFY) approaches, it's crucial for businesses in the UK to evaluate and update their cyber security measures. This period often brings an increase in cyber attacks, as criminals take advantage of the frenzy of activity to target vulnerable systems. To help protect your business, we've compiled an EOFY cyber security checklist that mid to large company IT, admin, and cyber security staff can follow to close out the financial year securely.

Review your security policies and procedures

Begin by thoroughly examining your company's security policies and procedures. This includes reviewing password policies, access control measures, and remote work protocols. Ensure your policies are up-to-date and comply with the latest government regulations, such as the UK's Data Protection Act 2018 and GDPR. It's also a good idea to consider conducting regular security awareness training for all employees to reinforce best practices and help them recognise potential threats, slowly changing their behaviour over time.

Conduct a comprehensive risk assessment

Carrying out a risk assessment is essential in identifying potential vulnerabilities within your company's IT infrastructure. This process should involve evaluating your network security, application security, and endpoint security to identify any weak points. Prioritise addressing these issues based on their potential impact once they've been identified, and consider engaging a third-party consultant or conducting a penetration test to obtain an unbiased assessment of your security posture. Make sure you address the human factor in the incidence of data breaches.

Update and patch software and hardware

One of the most effective ways to prevent cyber attacks is to keep your software and hardware updated. Regularly check for updates and patches for all devices connected to your network, including servers, workstations, and mobile devices. This also includes ensuring your antivirus and anti-malware software are up-to-date, as well as installing the latest security updates for your operating system and applications.

Implement Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) and encryption

MFA supplies an additional layer of security to help prevent unauthorised access to your company's sensitive data. Implement MFA for all user accounts, particularly those with administrative privileges. Encrypt your data both at rest and in transit to protect it from being intercepted or accessed by unauthorised parties, this includes employing encryption solutions for email communications, file storage, and remote access.

Implementing these EOFY cyber security measures will help safeguard your business from potential threats and ensure compliance with government regulations. It's important to remember that cyber security is an ongoing process, and keeping your organisation secure requires consistent vigilance and adaptation to the ever-evolving cyber landscape. By following this checklist and supporting a proactive approach to security, you can mitigate risks and protect your company's valuable assets.

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