Top tips on keeping you safe from online hackers and cybercriminals

In the wake of Apple’s recent announcement regarding a security flaw in its software, LoughTec CEO Seán McDermott gives his top tips on keeping safe from online hackers and cybercriminals.

As a business owner, you should be aware of the dangers of cyberattacks. These attacks can come from anywhere in the world and have devastating consequences.

Ten years ago, any IT Manager had 45 days to apply software patches (fixes for vulnerabilities the threat actors find in software daily).

Today it is more like a 2-3 hour window to apply the fixes.

Threat actors use those vulnerabilities to get access to your network. They then can spend considerable time carrying out reconnaissance on your network, until they figure out how they can hurt you most.

The challenge we all face is that these guys work around the clock – 90% of the attacks we see happen after 5.00 pm when all our guards are down.

That hurt could be in the form of encrypting your data and demanding a ransom, or a Business Email Compromise (BEC) attack where they convince someone in your accounts department to send a payment to a new bank account.

The challenge we all face is that these guys work around the clock – 90% of the cyber security attacks we see happen after 5.00 pm when all our guards are down.

Do not take the attitude that it won’t be you – it’s a matter of time before you are hacked or ransomed and once it happens, it will happen again.

The threat of cybercrime is out there. There is nothing you can do about the danger, but you can reduce the risk.

You can take steps to reduce the risk and decrease the attack surface for the offenders. It’s a bit like putting an alarm and CCTV system into your home. It won’t stop a burglar, but the CCTV and alarm make you a much less attractive prospect to cybercriminals.

Top tips

Here are some simple tips to help protect your business from cyber threats:

  1. Keep your software up to date – patches released by companies like Apple build defences against newly found weaknesses and backdoors in their software.
  2. Use strong passwords and don’t reuse them – combine a few random words, replace a few letters with a number, use characters like the @ sign and use an occasional capital letter.
  3. Be careful what you click on and ask yourself, why am I clicking on this link?
  4. Don’t open attachments from people you don’t know – ask yourself why this email with an attachment or a strange URL arrived in your mailbox.
  5. Use a secure remote access solution for work.
  6. Install security software – anything that is free is virtually useless.
  7. Back up your data regularly and keep that backup in a secure off-site location.
  8. Be aware of social engineering attacks.
  9. Think before you post online – don’t give the fraudsters the information they need to convince you that they are real.
  10. Protect your mobile devices – apply updates and patches as they become available.


Contact Cyber Security Company LoughTec for a free no-obligation discussion on your business cyber security posture. Call +44 (0) 28 8225 2445 or email

LoughTec: Watertight Cyber Security and IT Solutions