Cyber Security for Business

We're the guardians of your secrets!

This may sound more like a Hollywood film title, but in essence that is part of what we do.  It’s our job to help you make sure your essential data doesn’t fall into the wrongs hands.

Cyber Security is quite the buzz word at the moment, especially in small business.  For some time it was only worry for larger companies, especially as there were lots of high profile cases of breaches but that is no longer the case.  Large companies have gotten wise to it, and have been rightly investing in better protection.  Now your business just like ours, is now in the firing line as they see us as easier targets.  Hackers are doing what they can to sneak in, and do what they can to steal money and data from you.  In simple terms, that is what it is about.

So what can you do about protecting your business? Certainly not ignore the risk!  This needs to be broken down into some key areas.

  • Weaknesses
  • Processes
  • Cyber Essentials & Cyber Essentials Plus
  • Spam and URL (link) filtering
  • Location lockouts
  • MFA/2FA
  • Anti-virus
  • Backups
  • Ransomware
  • Regular reviews
  • Insurance

Cyber Security Weaknesses

We’ll cover the others, but do you know where the greatest threat comes from when referring to Cyber Security?  Well the Captain always says “computers work perfectly, until you lot press keys on the keyboard”!  So you may have guessed it, the greatest threat to your own Cyber Security are people, usually ones working on your own computers, and with your consent too!

But what happens if they receive a spam email that looks genuine, that has a dodgy link in it that takes them to something that looks like the Office 365 login page, then they enter their real email address and password?  BAM!  Someone is in and monitoring that mailbox.  They could be there for months, biding their time, gathering information. They could then send an invoice for that new client you’re working with, but not with your banking details on it, but their own.  What do you do?  More importantly what do you do to stop this from happening?

In addition to people, it will be a computer without the latest security updates and/or protection and out of date hardware which may either be missing the latest firmware or is too old to support current protection.

There are also more ways to protect your computers than just anti-virus software, although this is important!  Talk to us to find out more.  You can book an appointment on the green Calendly button at the bottom right hand corner of the screen or contact us here.

Big claw reaching out trying to take Harvey the boxer dog and his IT equipment.
Captain Christian red alert!

Cyber Security Processes

Do you worry about what would happen if someone got access to your computers or network? What would happen?  How do you get them out? How do you deal with a breach?  There is a lot to think about and cause sleepless nights.  Business is tough enough as it is, and now we have this to worry about too.

As with any business, process is key! Cyber Security and protecting your data isn’t a one off box to be ticked.  It is about good process and practice.  IT Support and Cyber Security go hand in hand.  It is no longer a role that should be left to one of the team who has a keen interest in IT, it is a professional responsibility, both to you, your team and the business.  Do you speak to a friend at the pub to get medical advice? No you speak to a medical professional like a Doctor, or we hope you do!

Speak to us about how we can take the worry away, contact us here.

Cyber Essentials & Cyber Essentials Plus

Cyber Essentials is growing in both popularity and demand from professional industry bodies, but what is it?

In short and simple terms it is a certification from The National Cyber Security Centre, a UK Government Agency that offers helps you with good practice when it comes to Cyber Security.  It is a simple but effective UK government backed scheme that will help you to protect your business or organisation, whatever the size.  Following the processes and gaining certification will help guard against a whole range of the most common cyber attacks.

Cyber attacks come in many shapes, sizes, and approaches.  Most of them are very basic in nature, carried out by relatively unskilled people, looking to scam you for some of your hard earned money. They’re the digital equivalent of a thief trying your front door to see if it’s unlocked, quickly pop in to grab something and then run. But they are getting more sophisticated in nature.  Having your wits about you is no longer enough.  Getting certified is designed to prevent these attacks.  Prevention is better than cure!

You can read more about it on the NCSC website. Or have a chat with us about it, we’ll happily answer any questions.

Harvey holding a letter next to his inbox

Spam and URL (link) filtering

Most threats come either from a web browser search or spam email. Do you hesitate when an email comes in and says “pay this bill or…”

Is it real?  Is it fake?  How do you tell?

Again, prevention is better than cure.  Decent filters can usually make sure most if not all email that is trying ‘phish’ information from you.  On top of that it reduces the amount of email you have to deal with on a daily basis.  So a win, win.  On top of that it is REALLY cheap, and probably the easiest way to shore up your defences.

Location lockouts

Did you know when it comes to cloud services like Office 365 you can lockdown access to locations with the right subscription?  So for example you can deny access to IP addresses (the address that all computers or devices have on the Internet) by country.  Very helpful if you don’t need access from abroad.  Even if you do, we can set you up with a VPN to make it look like you are in the UK, which can be another level of protection.  If you only wanted access from your own office, you can even clamp it down THAT much.  But it is always a balance between security and functionality.  It is our job to help you maintain that balance.

If you would like to ask about this, make an appointment today by clicking on the Calendly button below.

An avatar image of one of Northstar IT's male IT engineers holding a computer looking helpful.
An image of a 2FA/MFA code generator


We know, IT is full of jargon.  But you’ll already be familiar with this, if not by name, but by use in all likelihood if you use online banking.  Its actually called Multi-factor Authentication, or 2 Factor Authentication.  It’s a way of ‘authorising’ access to your system and proving who you are by a second stage of verification after you enter your password.  More and more providers are launching it, and in some cases requiring it, to help protect you.

Captain Christian created a video to cleverly show you an example of how simple and effective this is, and also an example of the risk of not using it.  You can watch by following this link.


Long gone are the days when anti-virus software had to be manually updated with a floppy disk in the post.  Those days are gone and yet viruses are not.  I guess we have all had a very stark reminder of that as we learn to live with Covid around us. Viruses have become more complex and more often that not spread so easily as a result of computers not having protection, or protection that has expired.

Have you ever clicked that “postpone” box as the warning of your anti-virus subscription comes up?  Do you even know if your subscription is still active?  There always seems like there is something more important to deal with.  We can take that worry and hassle away with a rolling monthly subscription which never expires, all the time it is paid for.  Result?  Another box ticked and another worry or concern dealt with.

A Northstar IT Anti-virus service
Let us help fix it


Oh my goodness.  This subject has been a hot topic for decades and yet, how are you backing up?  Are you doing it at all?  Does it work?  When did you last check?  What would happen if you lost some important files?  All good questions to ask yourself! And like we’ve said before, prevention is better than cure.  But when prevention fails, a good backup solution saves the day.

Christian has created a number of videos covering backups with a lot of good advice.  You can see them all here.


Oh hell, you REALLY do NOT want this.  If you know anyone who has been affected, no matter what insurance they have it is still is a great deal of stress, drama and cost.  If there is a way to help prevent it, take it! Even we have.  We have a simple addition to our support service which is cheap and is constantly looking for abnormal behaviour on your computers.  If it can’t shut it down, it quarantines the affected computer in a virtual ‘sin bin’ where only we can access it so we can manually intervene.  It’s been tested by a major industry expert service too.  And yes we have this protection on our computers as well, as we REALLY don’t want a Ransomware drama either!

Don’t even dismiss it thinking “it’s fine, as I have Cyber Protection Insurance.”  That’s wonderful if you do have insurance, but it is the clean-up grief afterwards.  Depending on how large your system is, it can take days to weeks to fix.  If you have one of our IT Support packages, at least the rebuild time will be included, but what about factoring in the inconvenience or disruption?  Even with business interruption insurance there is still stress, worry and frustration.

If there is something to lose sleep over, it is dealing with Ransomware in your business!  So let us help take away some of that worry.  Contact us here for a no-obligation chat.


Red alert image
Harvey with phone headset

Regular reviews

No matter what processes you have or protections are in place, when was the last time you tested them or checked they were being followed by your trusty team?  You know where the weak point is in the system?  Remember the best processes are only any good if people follow them and people love to break rules!  So whatever you have, make sure it is reviewed and tested from time to time.

What is they say? “Assume makes an ass out of you and me”  Don’t become the victim to an assumption.

If you would like a review of your Cyber Security, click on the green Calendly button below to schedule a chat.


Lastly, for when all else fails make sure you have Cyber Protection Insurance and we have a fantastic Insurance Broker. We would be delighted to pass their details on to you, to help plug this hole in your protection.  No matter what protection you put into place, things can go wrong.  But that is when the right insurance pays dividends.

Don’t be one of the growing statistics of “it won’t happen to me”.  Speak to us, and let us guide you through this minefield and take the worry away.  All of our contact details are here.

If in ANY doubt about speaking to us here at Northstar IT, check out our Google reviews below, or we have our own Testimonials page here which has client testimonials going back to 2006, which is when Christian starting collecting them.  We’re VERY proud of the feedback our clients give us, so forgive us for blowing our own trumpet.

Harvey the boxer dog sending emails.

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