We’ve teamed up with the online security experts at CyberSmart to bring you tips on how to keep your business safe from cybercrime. CyberSmart is available to Starling customers through the Starling Business Marketplace.


Many small businesses are aware of the threat cybercrime poses. But when it comes to doing something about it, they can be less sure of what to do. For some, cybersecurity measures have a reputation for being costly, complex and confusing. The reality is though, you often don’t need expensive experts or the latest technology to improve your business’s cybersecurity.

Here are five simple fixes that could improve your cybersecurity in minutes.

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Create a password policy

Most of us know the importance of strong passwords, but that doesn’t stop us using the same easily guessable phrase we’ve been using for years. We’re only human, after all.

Unfortunately, this also poses a huge security risk. Research from the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) revealed that the 100,000 most commonly used passwords were responsible for millions of breaches worldwide.

So what does a good password policy look like?

Start by using unpredictable passwords. The NCSC recommends using ‘three random words’, that are memorable but not easy to guess, in combination. Then, set up different passwords for each account you use – secure password management tools like LastPass are great if you struggle with remembering them. Also, use two-factor authentication (2FA) wherever possible. The NCSC has lots of great advice for small businesses around password security.

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Regularly update software

Regularly updating your software and operating systems is the most time-efficient way to improve your cybersecurity. Even the best software becomes outdated or develops gaps and, when it does, cybercriminals suddenly have an easy route into your business.

All it requires is that you regularly check for any updates to the software you use. Or, for an even easier solution, simply turn on auto-updates in your device’s settings.

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Use encryption

Most people have heard of encryption technology. However, many of us get put off by the misconception that it’s difficult to set up if you’re not a techie type. In reality, you’re probably already using it, whether through online banking or messaging services. Essentially, encryption randomises data so that only an authorised recipient with a key can see it.

A great place to start using encryption is your company email, as it’s the most common way sensitive data is shared.

Many email providers offer built-in encryption. However, in some cases, your messages can still be read by the provider. For truly secure communications, we recommend using a third-party tool, and a good place to start your research could be tech news and review sites.

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Develop clear cybersecurity policies

If your team doesn’t know which behaviours are harmful – such as using unsecured personal devices for work or poor password hygiene – it can’t change them. Ensure all security policies for staff are clear and easy to follow. If you’re unsure where to start, check out our guide to policy best practices.

Alongside this, work to create a culture of communication where staff are comfortable asking questions. All too often, security mistakes are made because staff feel ‘silly’ raising their concerns, and so don’t mention them at all.

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Install a monitoring tool

Finally, you need something to give you an overall view of your business’s security. This is where a tool like CyberSmart, available through the Starling Business Marketplace, comes in handy.

CyberSmart monitors all your business’s devices 24/7. It checks for the most up-to-date applications, operating systems, firewalls and security measures – helping protect your business against cybersecurity threats.

All of this is available in the platform’s smart dashboard, which allows you to check the status of individual employee devices, resolve many security issues through the CyberSmart app and distribute security policies throughout your business.

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