March 8th, 2019
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Fact: Most small to midsize businesses are not properly protecting themselves from cyber security threats.
Also fact: More than half of SMBs close their doors within six months because they are unable to recover after a cyber attack, according to the National Cyber Security Alliance.
Small businesses are actually considered more of a target than their enterprise counterparts. But what can a company do when they lack the resources and budget to protect themselves? Here are seven major steps you can take to minimize cyber security threats towards your business.
Companies should always be backing up their data. One of the biggest cyber security threats for SMBs is ransomware. Ransomware is when a company’s data is held under encryption hostage until they pay the ransom. Always have a clean backup, and in multiple forms. When it doubt, follow the 3-2-1 policy: 3 backups on 2 different mediums and 1 off-site.
According to Cisco’s 2018 Cybersecurity Report for SMBs, 68% of mid-market businesses go to the cloud for better data security. And it’s true — cloud services offer a lot of security measures, and SMBs don’t have to worry about hiring more people or paying for extra resources.
Choosing cloud-based services closes in on many security gaps within a company. However, that doesn’t mean all your security worries are over; your business should still stay on top of your providers’ security features and protocols. You never want to be caught off-guard in the rare, but very possible, event of a breach on their end.
Update everything, from your OS to apps to browsers to the content management system for your company’s website. And, of course, your antivirus software! When your business procrastinates on these updates, you are essentially inviting cyber criminals to come and take your data. System and application updates are not just about adding new features, but many of them involve essential security updates to protect your business from malicious outsiders. Cybercrime is ever evolving and cybersecurity must keep up.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) reported that lack of resources and expertise are the top reasons organizations’ feel are hindering them to advance cybersecurity efforts. That’s why many SMBs rely on Electric; if you can’t do it yourself, partner with the professionals!
Electric can help your business minimize cyber security threats in a few different ways. First, we can help with all your technical needs, including making sure all your devices and apps are up-to-date and make recommendations if any hardware needs to be updated in order for Electric to support it. Second, our experts will make sure your business’ IT tasks are done correctly, whether it’s migrating data from one system to another or downloading new software across company-issued devices. Third, we can work closely with your organization to shape effective security measures and policies, so that you are ready to prevent and combat against potential security breaches.
Another way to stay proactive in securing your company data is by preparing for an actual data breach. Assign roles and outline responsibilities in the event of a cyber attack, and establish internal and external communication protocols. By having a cyber attack response plan, you can minimize the damage and reduce the risks and impact of a breach.
Constantly reminding employees that cyber security threats are real can make one feel like a broken record. However, following cyber security best practices isn’t just for the benefit of a company, but also its employees! Advanced phishing scams are one of the top concerns for SMBs, as employee information, like passwords and credit card numbers, are often the main target of cyber criminals.
Cybersecurity is a team effort, and it can be difficult to keep track of what everyone is doing in the office. Here are some ways to ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to your company security:
Inform employees on the possible risks of a data breach
Regularly enforce cybersecurity policies
Add cybersecurity awareness to annual reviews
Train employees on how to respond in the event of a data breach
No one wants to navigate through the aftermath of a cyber attack, and being unprepared is the worst position to be in. Don’t wait until after you’ve experienced a breach to take cyber security threats seriously — it might already be too late.