You don’t have to be a large enterprise for cyberattacks to occur. In fact, small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are more susceptible to cyberattacks because they typically don’t have the sophisticated defenses and control mechanisms that larger businesses have. At the same time, they use and store valuable data and resources that technically savvy bad actors can access through vulnerabilities in their defenses. For this reason, it is important that you implement managed security for your SMB.
Why Cybersecurity is Important
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, SMBs were increasingly becoming the target of sophisticated cyberattacks. And the sad truth is that 60% of SMBs that fall victim to a cyberattack or data breach go out of business within three months of the attack.
Vulnerabilities in an SMB’s cybersecurity come from both people- and technical-related issues. For example, people can be tricked into providing access to key systems and firewalls can be improperly configured. Despite these issues, many SMBs don’t have the resources required to hire an in-house IT team to help manage their security and protect them from cyberthreats. Fortunately, there are steps they can take to increase their cybersecurity.
Cybersecurity Steps for SMBs
An SMB must ensure that heir technology is adequate to protect their networks and systems, and they need to ensure the people who have access to those networks and systems understand how to maintain the highest level of security. For this reason, SMBs should implement the following crucial steps for heightened security:
- Establish sound security policies and procedures and ensure all employees are trained on what they are and how to adhere to them. This includes following established guidelines for the use of the internet and how to avoid falling victim to social engineering cyberattacks, such as phishing. It also includes the penalties employees face if they violate security policies.
- Assign every employee their own unique user account, then require each of them to use strong, unique passwords and have them change those passwords every three months. Multifactor authentication (MFA) is also recommended, which will require users to use an additional form of authentication beyond just a password.
- Control employee access to critical data, ensuring that only those authorized to access data can do so and that they can only gain access to what they need when they need it. Ensure critical company and customer data is never transmitted via email or other unencrypted mechanisms.
- Ensure all networks, systems, computers, and devices are protected with the most up-to-date operating system, web browser, and security software. Remove any unnecessary applications, install all software updates and security patches as they become available, and ensure that automatic antivirus software updates are done regularly and that antivirus scans are run at regular intervals.
- Put an adequate firewall in place to protect your operating system and network. A personal firewall is also needed for each employee who works on a mobile device.
- Back up all critical information and data that is stored on computers and servers daily. This includes all documents, spreadsheets, and files related to human resources, accounts payable and receivable, and finances.
- Ensure all your Wi-Fi networks are fully secured, hidden, and encrypted with the use of a wireless router or access point that is password protected and does not broadcast the Service Set Identifier (SSID).
Why Managed Security is the Answer
Managed security service providers (MSSPs) can help SMBs implement the above steps to ensure adequate cybersecurity. The importance of this cannot be overstated, since most SMBs don’t have to have the in-house resources to maintain a high level of security. MSSPs can provide all levels of protection for an SMB’s systems, which results in the following benefits:
- A multilayered methodology for cybersecurity based on experience and expertise
- Economical approach to cybersecurity
- The ability to scale security up and down with ease
- Reduced risk in terms of security and regulatory compliance
- A full independent analysis of your security needs
- The development of a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy
- Managed security services 24/7
With the increased use of mobile devices and remote work and the need for an online presence from even the smallest business, managed security has become more important than ever.
Connect with Platinum Technologies today to find out how we can provide you with a managed security solution to help you protect your critical resources.