Sussex businesses are being advised to always download the latest software and app updates as soon as they are available.
The Government has launched a new campaign, Cyber Streetwise, to protect firms from hackers.
Software and app updates contain vital security upgrades which protect devices from viruses and hackers.
They are, according to GCHQ’s cyber security arm, CESG, the most important action people and businesses can take to protect themselves from cybercrime.
CESG strongly recommends that individuals and businesses regularly update software on all devices that use the internet to allow the latest security updates to be installed. This provides greater protection from viruses and other cyber threats.
The latest Government stats, from Ipsos MORI, reveal that the majority of people in the South-East don’t always download the latest software updates for their mobile phone (68%) or for their computer (64%), as soon as they are available.
The most common reason respondents across the UK gave for not downloading the latest software updates for their computer (29%) was that it was ‘too time consuming’.
Yet it only takes a few minutes to download software and app updates versus the time it can take to recover from a cyber hack. This is why Cyber Streetwise is launching #quickupdates.
The Ipsos MORI research, also found that the majority of people thought they did not know a lot about the security benefits of downloading the latest software updates for computers (77%) or mobile phones (74%).
Temporary Detective Sergeant Dave Hull, from Surrey and Sussex Cyber Crime Unit, said: “We are working hard to prevent cybercrime in Sussex and we would urge all our residents and businesses to download the latest software updates from verified vendors to protect against viruses and hackers.
“Simple cyber security techniques such as this can make it extremely difficult for an attacker to obtain data or compromise systems. Software updates address security vulnerabilities and are designed to plug the gaps which hackers exploit to gain access. Anyone who goes online is a potential target and the consequences of not taking appropriate security steps could be potentially devastating to the reputation of companies and/or individuals and their financial future.”
Lynn Farrar, Chair of Neighbourhood Watch said, “We wholeheartedly support the #quickupdates campaign and we are urging everyone to download software updates on mobiles, laptops and computers as soon as they appear in order to protect against cybercrime. This is such a quick and easy way to protect yourself, your family and your community against hackers it makes sense to get into the habit of doing it as soon as you possibly can.”
Cybercrime is a serious threat to the UK and the Government is taking action to increase public awareness of the risk. The Government will invest £1.9 billion to significantly transform the UK’s cyber security. The National Cyber Security Programme (NCSP) will support the aims of the 2016 National Cyber Security Strategy over the next five years and reflects the importance the Government places on robust cyber security for the UK. CESG, the cyber security arm of GCHQ, will become part of the National Cyber Security Centre later in 2016. In addition to providing guidance, the NCSC will actively protect the UK from a range of cyber threats and will coordinate responses to cyber security incidents.
The Cyber Streetwise campaign, funded by the NCSP, was launched in 2014 with the objective of providing the public and small businesses with the knowledge to take control of their cyber security and help protect themselves from cyber criminals.
To find out more, including how to set your device to that it automatically downloads the latest software updates visit https://www.cyberstreetwise.com/software-updates
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