It’s often assumed that only large, enterprise-level companies need to implement cybersecurity measures to protect against cyber criminals and malicious hackers. However, the truth is that now, more than ever, small and large businesses alike need to safeguard their security.
We live in an ever-increasing technology-dependent society, where the threat of cyberattacks has only increased. Hackers have become more creative. No device, system or network is 100 percent safe. Being an entrepreneur, a personable geek and the founder of an IT services company, I love helping others use technology in their businesses to successfully compete with the big guys. And competing with the big guys means acting like them and taking cybersecurity seriously.
No Business Is Immune
According to the Ponemon Institute’s 2017 Cost of Data Breach Study: Global Overview, the odds of your business being targeted are as high as 1 in 4. And no business is immune. Cybersecurity is an ever-moving target and those who don’t stay on top of it are at risk — a risk that can lead to failure for many small to midsize businesses with few resources and staff to devote to cybersecurity. The good news is that organizations can take measures to protect themselves against the high costs and impact of a security breach. Here are three tips businesses can employ now:
1. Educate Employees
The single biggest threat to small businesses lies directly within their own walls. Attacks take advantage of our trust and then intrigue, excite or even frighten us. It is critical to educate your employees on how to recognize and report phishing and other cyber threats to prevent criminals from obtaining sensitive corporate data. Look out for any communications that have a sense of urgency and aren’t expected from a third party.
2. Improve Passwords
With redundant and weak passwords still common, hackers are gaining access to businesses and their sensitive data every day. Creating differing complex passwords across various sites and tools can create the strong barrier your company needs to keep its information safe.
Passwords aren’t the only barrier keeping hackers out. Protect your company from ransomware and doxing threats by limiting user privileges, app whitelisting, patching apps and operating systems and using third-party software with the most up-to-date ransomware defenses. You should also employ a tiered or distributed backup solution to protect you from losing valuable data.
3. Address IoT and BYOD Security
Many companies have failed to secure internet of things (IoT) devices. IoT devices are often unequipped with built-in security measures, as they weren’t designed to operate on a public network. Because of this, hackers can use them to access private and sensitive company data.
To protect against this security threat, don’t allow devices direct public access from the internet. Instead, install endpoint security solutions, require complex passwords, always use two-step verification or multi-factor authentication when possible and only allow access through encrypted communications.
If you have any questions or need help implementing any of these security measures, feel free to reach out. We can help.
Stay safe out there.