Over the years, SMBs (small and medium-sized businesses) have become prime targets for cybersecurity threats such as. A study shows that 61% of data breaches affect small businesses.
Cybercriminals love to attack small businesses for a couple of reasons. For instance, small or medium-sized business owners are so busy that cybersecurity often becomes the least of their priorities. This makes their network vulnerable to various attacks like viruses and malware. Another reason is that when they attack small businesses, it brings them one step closer to penetrate larger companies.
Security breaches are so bad for SMBs that it can owners end up closing them. Furthermore, the National Cyber Security Alliance shows that almost 60% of all SMBs end up closing within six months after been hit by a cyber attack.
Upon that, SMB owners still don’t take their cyberattack risk level seriously. The reason is that most of them feel that they have nothing valuable to hackers. It doesn’t matter how valuable a small or medium-sized business is any anyone can be a target. Cyberattacks have made Ransomware (which is in charge of holding company information for money) become a problem for numerous SMBs.
SMB owners need to protect their businesses from this threat – especially now that most people are working from home (on a less secure network) due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here’s how small businesses can protect their technology and data from cyberattacks.
Evaluate Your Risk
Before you create a cybersecurity plan, evaluate your risk. The Cyber Resilience Review is a no-cost evaluation you can use to find where your company is vulnerable.
When you’ve figured out where you need to improve in your cybersecurity, set a company-wide strategy to deal with cybercrime. Also, learn ways to keep your network safe and create a ground rule for your employees when they use the internet.
While you’re making the rules, consider the questions below:
- What kind of site would you allow on company devices?
- How would you stop employees from accessing work data from their devices?
- Will you add security to the devices when they are not in use?
- Will employees need to change their password every three words?
- What solution are you going to take if a company device goes missing or stolen?
Train Your Employees
You must train your employees once you’ve set up a company-wide cybersecurity strategy. This will help them know what they’ren facing and what action to take to protect themselves.
Advice your employees to add numbers and signs in their passwords to make it stronger while using a trusted password manager- this will create a restriction between their logins and hackers, making it harder for hackers to get into their accounts. Also, enlighten them on the kind of cybersecurity scams there are today. With that, they’ll be able to spot common scams like phishing and put an end to cyberattacks.
Make Use Of Antimalware and Antivirus Software
As I mentioned, teaching your employees about cyber attacks and how they can defend themselves against it is a vital thing to do but that’s not enough. The reason why some cyber attacks are successful today is that some devices don’t have a strong defence.
This is why it’s important to download antimalware and antivirus software on all company devices (including phones). I recommend Avast free antivirus. It the best free antivirus although, they still have some paid features it can get the job done. It’s available for both PCs and mobile phones.
Once you’ve installed it, always check for updates. The Avast Antivirus already has that handled. It auto-updates itself, which is helpful for SMB owners since it’ll be one less thing they’ll need to monitor.
If you have any employees working from home, make sure they have their devices protected.
Invest in a VPN
Investing in cybersecurity without including a VPN is like planting a seed without watering it. If any of your employees working from home gets hacked, that could cause a lot of damage.
VPN (a virtual private network) should be the first line of defence for any business against cybercriminals. If you have any remote employees make sure they have a VPN. It protects remote employees around the internet the same way it those in the office.
Nord VPN is perfect for any SMBS. It protects your business in every way. What’s more, you can enjoy the internet without borders.
Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic started, cybercriminals developed a new hobby which is hacking remote employees who use home networks.
Protect all Mobile and Tablets Devices
When creating a cybersecurity plan, SMBs need to include all company devices. I’m talking about laptops, phones, desktop computers, and tablets. Hackers can use any device to gain access to the company’s data and allowing them to access the company’s entire network.
SMB owners can secure company devices by installing security apps on phones, encrypting data, and using two-factor authentication for all logins. Furthermore, there should be a regular backup of company data on spreadsheets, databases, and money related records to secure your company in case of a breach.
Make Use Cloud Software
Always update all your apps and cybersecurity software. That way you’re sure you have the latest secure version of the software. In doing so, this will make it difficult for hackers to try to infiltrate programs.
That’s why Cloud Software is so helpful because cloud-based applications consistently update themselves, therefore, making the apps tougher against attacks. It also saves SMB owners the stress of updating software.
Encryption Of Emails
Encryption of emails helps in disguising email content so that unauthorized users (hackers) won’t obtain the information. It does not mean your emails can’t be breached, but it makes it difficult for hackers to penetrate them. Encrypted emails make use of public key infrastructure (PKI), which utilizes public and private keys to hide sensitive information.
Companies using email encryption can send emails through private infrastructure. Private key structures use private advanced codes wherein an open key encodes an email, making it meaningless with the private key