Many SMBs assume that hackers won’t attack them because they don’t have as much client data and money as multi-national corporations. The truth is that cybercriminals continue to target SMBs. These hackers assume that small companies won’t invest in a cybersecurity strategy that prevents them from infiltrating computers and networks.
If you’re not convinced that you need a robust cybersecurity strategy, then you should know that 60% of SMBs that become targets of ransomware attacks go out of business within six months.
You can protect yourself by developing a cybersecurity strategy that protects your desktops, laptops, email and other IT tools.
And don’t forget to properly dispose of all electronic media – computers, hard drives, phones, SD cards, USB sticks, printers – all of these and more can contain personal information that should be destroyed before disposal!
Improving computer security
If your company uses computers that are more than three years old, then you should consider upgrading to newer models. More recent computers have designs that improve infrastructure security. Anti-malware applications also work better on new computers.
Investing in new computers may sound expensive, but it’s important to remember that your investment will help protect you from malware and ransomware attacks that can cost much more.
Protect your network to prevent cybersecurity attacks
Since your company’s computers are connected to a network, you need to take a big picture approach to creating a cybersecurity strategy. Network security should include tools that:
- Protect sensitive data and files
- Prevent malware from getting distributed to computers
- Software and firmware updates that prevent cyberattacks
You can also improve your network’s security by:
- Banning employees from installing unauthorized applications
- Installing a reliable firewall
- Requiring strong passwords to access files on the network
- Monitoring network traffic to identify unauthorized users
Cybersecurity strategies to improve email safety
Many hackers don’t bother trying to infiltrate systems from the outside. Instead, they use phishing attempts to trick your employees into downloading malware or providing login information. Often, your employees are the weak links that help cybercriminals attack your IT infrastructure.
A cybersecurity strategy that improves email safety should include:
- Training to help employees spot phishing attempts
- Multi-layered filtering that blocks suspicious attachments and website links
- Ways to report suspicious emails and phone calls to IT professionals
You can’t protect your network, computers and other hardware without a strong cybersecurity strategy for emails. Without a strategy, you leave yourself open to attacks from inside your business.
Secure your cloud applications and data backups
As the cloud becomes an increasingly popular option for accessing applications and storing data, companies need to think more carefully about how their cybersecurity strategies will make the cloud safe and secure.
Cloud-based security often falls into three categories:
- Training employees so they know how to create secure login credentials and avoid risks
- Data encryption that prevents unauthorized users from accessing the cloud via lost or stolen devices
- Automatic data backup that stops hackers from holding your information ransom
The cloud can make your company more agile and productive, but you need the right security protocol to use the technology safely.
SMBs need to take cybersecurity seriously because it affects their processes and branding. During the first three months of 2018, 686 reported breaches exposed 1.4 billion records.
Companies that get attacked often find it difficult to regain the trust of their customers and clients. As long as you develop a cybersecurity strategy, you can make your organization a difficult target that criminals want to avoid.