Here’s one thing the cybersecurity world can agree on: there is no single product available today that will solve all of your cybersecurity problems. In today’s world, it takes many technologies and processes to provide comprehensive risk and security management. Instead, SMBs should continually be checking their systems for vulnerabilities, learning about new threats, thinking like attackers and adjusting their defenses as needed.
Cybersecurity technology starts with antivirus software. Antivirus, as its name implies, is designed to detect, block, and remove viruses and malware. Modern antivirus software can protect against ransomware, keyloggers, backdoors, rootkits, 10 trojan horses, worms, adware, and spyware. Some products are designed to detect other threats, such as malicious URLs, phishing attacks, social engineering
techniques, identity theft, and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.
A network firewall is also essential. Firewalls are designed to monitor incoming and outgoing network traffic based on a set of configurable rules—separating your secure internal network from the Internet, which is not considered secure. Firewalls are typically deployed as an appliance on your network and in many cases offer additional functionality, such as virtual private network (VPN) for remote workers.
Patch management is an important consideration as well. Cyber criminals design their attacks around vulnerabilities in popular software products such as Microsoft Office or Adobe Flash Player. As vulnerabilities are exploited, software vendors issue updates to address them. As such, using outdated versions of software products can expose your business to security risks. There are a variety of solutions available that can automate patch management.
Recent studies have reported that weak passwords are at the heart of the rise in cyber theft, causing 76% of data breaches. To mitigate this risk, businesses should adopt password management solutions for all employees. Many people have a
document that contains all of their password information in one easily accessible file—this is unsafe and unnecessary. There are many password management apps available today. These tools allow users keep track of all your passwords, and if any of your accounts are compromised you can change all of your passwords quickly.
Taking frequent backups of all data considered critical to your business is critical. The exact frequency of backups will vary based on your business’ specific needs. Traditionally, most businesses took a daily backup, and for some businesses this may still be suitable. However, today’s backup products are designed to make incremental copies of data throughout the day to minimize data loss. When it comes to protecting against cyber attacks, solutions that back up regularly allow
you to restore data to a point in time before the breach occurred without losing all of the data created since the previous night’s backup.
According to a recent SEC report, SMBs are the “principal target” of cyber attacks. Use this checklist to be sure your critical business data is protected
Conduct a security risk assessment. Understand potential security threats (e.g., downtime from ransomware) and the impact they may have on your business (lost revenue). Use this information to shape a security strategy that meets your specific needs
Train your employees. Because cybersecurity threats are constantly evolving, an ongoing semi-annual training plan should be implemented for all employees. This should include examples of threats, as well as instruction on security best practices (e.g., lock laptops when away from your desk). Hold employees accountable.
Protect your network and devices. Implement a password policy that requires strong passwords that expire every 90 days. Deploy firewall, VPN and antivirus technologies to ensure your network and endpoints are not vulnerable to attacks. Consider implementing multifactor authentication. Ongoing network
monitoring should also be considered essential. Encrypt hard drives.
Keep software up to date. It is essential to use up-to-date software products
and be vigilant about patch management. Cyber criminals exploit software vulnerabilities using a variety of tactics to gain access to computers and data.
Create straightforward cybersecurity policies. Write and distribute a clear set
of rules and instructions on cybersecurity practices for employees. This will vary from business to business but may include policies on social media use, bring your own device, authentication requirements, etc.
Back up your data. Daily backups are a requirement to recover from data
corruption or loss resulting from security breaches. Consider using a modern data protection tool that takes incremental backups of data periodically throughout the day to prevent data loss
Cyber crime is growing at a rapid rate and businesses are increasingly targeted. According to the National Small Business Association, 44% of small businesses have been the victim of a cyber attack and the number of breaches reported per year continues to climb. A Juniper Research study estimated that cyber crime will cost businesses over $5 trillion globally by 2024, increasing by almost 70% the cost of breaches in 2019.
Developing a robust, multi-layered cybersecurity strategy can save a business. Ongoing employee education and security technology will boost your front line of defense and dramatically decrease the likelihood of any breaches. Lastly, a solid, reliable backup and recovery solution is the second and most essential layer of defense, allowing businesses to quickly recover unscathed should things turn ugly.
Snider Technology has served the business community
throughout west Texas since 2006. How can we help you?