The importance of cyber security is nothing new, especially in recent years, and especially for small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs). In 2015, the House Small Business Committee released that 71% of cyber attacks occurred in businesses with fewer than 100 employees. And just this year, Barkly reported that 57% of SMBs saw an increase in attack volume.
Why Your SMB is a Target
Being a small or medium size business does not exempt your company from the same cyber threats as big enterprises. In fact, SMBs are even more of a target because they don’t necessarily have the dedicated budget and big-time resources to fight against cyber crimes. And even if you think that your company data IS protected, what about your employee’s data? Sometimes, cyber attackers are just focused on stealing personal information, which can easily lead to identity theft and credit card fraud.
How to Protect Your SMB
According to Cisco’s 2018 Cybersecurity Report, 53% of mid-market companies have experienced a security breach, and more than half of these cyberattacks have caused over half a MILLION dollars in damages. Even if that doesn’t bankrupt your company right away, it’s still a huge amount of money lost. So how can you protect yourself? Here are a few suggestions:
Set Cybersecurity Policies
Educate and train your employees on what your cybersecurity policies are. Some points you may want to include are:
Proper device and email security
Types of scams employees should look out for
What anti-malware programs to use and how often to do a full malware scan
How to properly transfer data
Protocols for reporting lost or stolen devices
Your employees are one of your first lines of defense when it comes to cybersecurity. Keeping an open line of communication with them can greatly increase your chances of avoiding a cyber attack—and theirs.
Build Up a Firewall
A properly configured firewall will prevent unwanted outsiders from accessing your network. It doesn’t matter if your employees are with you in the office or working remotely. If your employees are working from home, provide them with the proper firewall software for their home network for compliance purposes.
Don't Be a Phish
There are many types of cyber scams out there, but many employees accidentally fall prey to phishing. Okay, so your employees (hopefully) know that the email from the handsome Nigerian Prince asking for a million dollars isn’t real, but not all scammy emails are that obvious. Scammers will sometimes falsify their identity and pretend to be someone you already know, like another employee or client. Or, they may pretend to have sensitive information when they really don’t. To combat this, encourage your employees to always check the “From” section of an email before responding or clicking any links.
Use MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication)
Your employees should already be using complex passwords, as well as not using repeat passwords for their accounts. Add an extra layer of precaution by implementing two factor authentication for server access. Even if all of your employees are using the most complicated passwords known to man, multi factor authentication is an inexpensive and essential line of defense when someone’s device or credentials get lost or stolen.
Backup Data Regularly
It is just as important to prepare for a breach as it is to try and prevent one. Having a reliable backup solution enables you to restore your data in case it gets infected or lost. From important documents to financial files to databases, you should always routinely backup your data.
These cybersecurity best practices are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to being proactive about cybersecurity (find more best practices here).When it comes to cyber security, being a small or medium size business is even more stressful than being a larger firm, especially if you don’t have the budget for a dedicated IT team to help you prevent security breaches and combat them if they occur. That’s where Electric comes in. Need help setting up a firewall or multi factor authentication? We are here to help! Or maybe you need to find the right cloud backup solution for your company’s data? We can handle that, too. Whether you are outsourcing IT, are without IT, or have only a few IT specialists on deck, Electric offers affordable IT support to help setup and maintain your company’s network security.