Cybersecurity is an essential concern for SMBs, but numerous small and medium-sized businesses fail to secure their organizations because of certain limitations.
According to a report, more than half of the SMBs have experienced cyber-attacks and a data breach. As a result, most SMBs are focusing on the importance of a healthy security posture.
In 2018, almost two-thirds of the SMBs faced at least some type of cyber-attacks. With the evolution of the internet, hackers have come up with more sophisticated techniques to reach a vast target audience than ever.
The security breaches bring devastating effects for the SMBs, and only a few of them manage to survive. The National Cyber Security Alliance reveals approximately 60% of all the SMBs came to know about the attack within six months.
Either your business operates online or has a specific website to carry out its functions, always consider the strategies to improve cybersecurity infrastructure. Drafting and implementing an excellent cybersecurity plan is essential for your organization to protect data, credit card numbers, passwords, and other information in the era of the web.
Nathan Finch, a former network security engineer at Australia’s Cyber Defense Group, advises:
“Make sure you choose a secure web hosting provider for your business’ website. That’s the number one rule to avoid common cybersecurity threats and risks. Make sure you choose a web hosting provider that comes with an SSL certificate, ‘cause that’s one of the most important factors to consider when it comes to security and SEO of modern websites. SSL certificate protects sensitive data that’s sent between computers and servers, such as passwords, or credit card numbers. If your site is not encrypted properly it becomes an easy target and puts it at risk of hacking attempts and identity thefts.”
With that in mind, we can move forward and explain some other ways to protect your business. If you own a small business, then it is the right time to restructure your security posture. Let’s now discuss some of the ways SMBs should follow to prevent themselves from cyber-attacks.
Vulnerable Hardware Provide an Edge to Cybercriminals
SMBs need to understand the importance of protecting their hardware the same as their software. It’s necessary to secure all the hardware devices and software networks with the latest security solutions available and keep them updated.
Most SMBs fail to secure the business hardware that can later cost them at the time of cyber-attack. For small businesses, theft or loss in the business hardware can be as dangerous as it is equal to a data breach.
Thus, business leaders ensure that only authorized employees are given access to the integrities of business hardware. Besides creating a firewall for accessing confidential information, SMBs should deploy multi-factor authentication for people trying to access their hardware devices and surveillance systems.
Understand the Changing Landscape and Trends
SMBs need to develop a comprehensive security strategy to prepare the company and employees to fight cybercriminals. Business leaders need to have a prior understanding of potential vulnerabilities. Let it be the external or internal issues that can impact their business and how hackers can gain entry, including various methods and points of weakness.
Experts believe that cyber-attacks happen because of having a weak security system or firewall system to fight against cyber-attacks. Hence, learning about different types of cyber fraud techniques and common threats is vital.
It includes everything from phishing and spoofing attacks to system hacking and pharming. Having a proper understanding of the working landscape helps the SMBs to plan their motives ahead of the attacks.
SMBs also ensure that all of their employees are aware of the changing cybersecurity situations, so they don’t mishandle sensitive business information. Assuring all these points helps the SMBs to create comprehensive and robust strategies to protect their business from possible attacks.
Some of the most common cyber-attacks methods to be aware of include hacking, identity thefts, malware threats, phishing, and social engineering attacks.
Use a VPN
Any investment in cybersecurity tools for the office falls by the curb if any employee working remotely gets hacked. Invest in a highly rated and well-reviewed VPN service as the first line of defense against cyber-crooks and attacks.
SMBs must use VPNs for all their remote employees. VPNs provide the same level of protection as those in the office. Using a VPN means that your entire traffic passes through secure and encrypted tunnels and hides your data from all snooping eyes.
With the start of the present pandemic, the cyber-criminals have not left any chance to hack remote employees working from home networks. So, use a VPN and protect yourself.
Use Cloud Software
It’s vital to update all your apps and cybersecurity software to ensure that you’re using the most secure version of the software. Hackers are always looking for methods to infiltrate the programs. When you use the latest versions of your cybersecurity software, you remain one step ahead or make it hard for the attackers to steal your data.
Cloud software is beneficial in this case because the cloud-based applications update themselves regularly. As a consequence, all these apps are more robust to attacks. As the SMBs owners manage multiple tasks at a single time, auto-updating software ensures that they don’t forget when it comes to updating the software.
Encryption assures that the hackers won’t be able to access the email information. Whether email breaching happens or not isn’t guaranteed in email encryption. However, it makes it difficult for hackers to infiltrate them.
Encrypted emails use critical public key infrastructure (PKI) that utilizes both public and private keys to hide and protect sensitive information.
By using a dedicated business email service that comes with encryption, companies and enterprises send emails through private infrastructure. The private structure uses private digital codes while the public key encrypts email by making it unreadable with the private key.
After establishing a company-wide cybersecurity strategy, it’s vital to train your employees so they know what they’re up to and what they can do to save themselves.
Ask your employees to use strong passwords and the best password managers, as it makes it difficult for hackers to access your accounts. Educate them on the various types of cybersecurity attacks. Doing this will help in detecting phishing attempts as well as other common scams.
Use Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware Software
It’s essential to educate and train your employees on how to defend themselves from cyber-attacks. However, some cyber-attacks are successful because the device won’t have any robust line of defense.
For this purpose, download and use anti-malware and antivirus software on all your company devices. Once downloaded, update each security software regularly. Some anti-virus software auto-update themselves, which is quite helpful for small and medium business owners because it is one less thing they’ve to keep track of.
If any individual works remotely or travels with their devices, ensure that their devices are well protected outside the office network.
Upgrade Your IT Structure with New Equipment
When it comes to maximizing and boosting your network security, upgrading the latest cyber defense equipment is essential. Firewall devices, routers, and other IT tools maximize your system security to prevent hackers from gaining entry. Since hackers influence these cutting-edge techniques; thus, these upgrades are crucial.
Several organizations consider IT equipment as a second thought or time expensive. However, the reality is a much different thing. Upgrading and replacing this equipment with modern hardware strengthen your network security.
To conclude, don’t allow hackers to gain access to your business network. Prioritize your organization’s cybersecurity policy. Make a plan, deploy it, train your employees, and be cautious regarding keeping your software updated.
Among anti-virus software and some common-sense measures, any SMB can reduce cyber-attacks, but it’s essential not to let your digital security become an afterthought. Till then, follow the tips mentioned above and stay secure.