The number of cyber-attacks are at an all-time high with no signs of slowing down. To make matters worse, cyber criminals are focusing on small to midsize businesses, as they see them as easy targets compared to large organizations with dedicated IT security teams. So how can you protect your business from being next in line for a cyber attack?
Our security experts have come up with 5 Ways to improve your SMBs Cybersecurity in 2018.
Train Your Employees. Your employees are an important line of defense against a data breach or cyber-attack that could lead to financial or reputation loss for your company. The Aberdeen Group reports that investing in an employee training program could reduce the risk of a cyber-attack by 45 to 70 percent. If you haven’t already, make 2018 the year to invest in an employee cyber security training program. Human error remains one of the biggest threats to a businesses’ cyber security, so now would be a great time to make it a priority to train each and every staff member, keeping them up-to-date on basic security precautions and educating them on how they can protect themselves and their digital assets, both at work and at home.
Keep Your Systems Up-to-Date. One of the most important things you can do to protect your small business IT systems is perform routine maintenance checks. As the old saying goes, upkeep is cheaper than replacement, so make it a habit in 2018 to perform software updates on company devices along with patching any discovered vulnerabilities. Making these small changes can stop or significantly lessen your company’s chances of being victim of a cyber-attack.
Back Up, Back Up, Back Up. You would think that backing up data would be a no brainer for businesses of any size, but that tends to not be the case. So much so that the FBI released a warning just last year of the importance of system backups. With ransomware on the rise, the best defense is to constantly back up data. That way, even if your organization’s data is stolen, deleted, or encrypted by attackers, there is a means to restore it. Your company can protect data by storing it in the cloud, on premise, or in a hybrid data center. Some businesses have found that backing up data using the cloud is helpful because it allows instant back-up and fundamental security protection. Whatever route you choose to take, don’t forget to backing up your data can save your organization an immense amount of time and money in the case of a cyber-attack.
Amp Up Your Passwords. The number of times you’ve heard the term “password security” when discussing ways to secure your network has probably become repetitive, but this still remains one of the biggest protectors against hackers ready to steal your information. Did you know that there are people who make a living from people who use weak passwords like “password” or numbers like “123456”? Make it a company policy for employees to not only use unique, complex passwords that include uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols, but make sure they are changing their passwords out every 30-45 days. You may get a little push back at first, but enforcing a policy like this could greatly reduce your company’s chances of a cyber-attack.
Get Smart About Mobile. It is reported that by 2020 more than 75% of America’s workforce will be mobile. It is imperative that you consider mobile devices in your security plan. Although mobile devices can be extremely convenient, they often carry confidential company data – and can be used to access corporate networks. Because of this, mobile devices need the same protections as any desktop or laptop computer. If you are finding that your company is relying more and more on mobile devices, experts recommend that all mobile device communications are encrypted in some way, require strong authentication, and mobile security audits are performed regularly. While mobile security may have its own special issues and challenges, make it a part of your company’s security infrastructure in 2018. This will help protect your employees, your assets and, ultimately, your reputation and business mission for years to come.
Looking for ways to amp up your network security in 2018? Let the experts help. Don't go another year putting your business at risk. Ask us about our Risk-Free Network Assessment today!