Cybersecurity? What’s In It For Businesses?
Whenever businesses talk about their priorities in their IT strategies cybersecurity seemingly takes a back seat. This is not surprising though. When people think of security, it’s very reactive. You can hear statements like “I don’t think we’ll need security because we are a small company”.
But is that always the case? Is cybersecurity really just a thing for big companies?
The Case of Modern Cyber Security
In the past, the people who needed real cybersecurity were the big names in the business. The idea is quite simple, bigger companies had more money and therefore were better targets. Nobody wanted to target smaller businesses as they had little to no money on them. It was simply not worth it.
That’s because the main inspiration for hackers in the past was cold hard cash. The goal was to get as much money from a source as possible before they get caught. If there was no cash then the usual credit card details will work.
These days, this is still the case. However, there’s a very big difference. Instead of just going directly for the money, hackers realized that there was something else they can steal aside from money – user data
Now, user data is something that wasn’t only present in big companies. All businesses handle customer and business data. While bigger companies handled more data, the smaller ones are considered better targets because they don’t have any form of security in place most of the time. So they are low-hanging fruit for any cyber-criminal.
According to a study conducted by Verizon, 43% of all cyberattacks conducted in the year 2020 were targeted towards small businesses. Of this number, 22% needed to cease operations after the attack. These numbers are not great. In fact, these are pretty depressing statistics.
But guess who is the most affected by this? Sure, the businesses take a big hit and might close but for some customers and users, this can mean having their personal data stolen by random people. Identities might get stolen and they might even be victims of ransomware where they need to pay a sum of money so the hackers don’t spread their information.
Now, more than ever, small and medium-sized businesses need cybersecurity. But without the big budget of a Fortune 500 company, what can a small dentist clinic, law firm, or online grocery do to protect themselves from cyberattacks?
Cybersecurity Best Practices for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses
The cybersecurity needs of SMBs differ from the large companies but they are all geared towards one goal – to protect business and user data. Here are a couple of best practices SMBs can use to protect themselves from cyberattacks.
Install A Firewall
Firewalls are the most basic forms of defense against a cyber-attack. While it’s not the best one out there, it serves its purpose by blocking the most simple of attacks. The FCC recommends all SMBs should set up a firewall to protect themselves from data hacking. Aside from setting up an external firewall, more SMBs are also installing internal firewalls to further fortify their networks. In today’s world where workers are expected to work from home more often, they are encouraged to install firewalls at home as well.
Think of Mobile Devices
More and more people are using their smartphones as their primary or secondary work devices nowadays. Our phones no longer just contain text messages and phone numbers but also important personal and business data. Because of this, companies are expected to protect the mobile devices. Some services offer mobile device management which allows a company to remotely check and wipe mobile devices as needed. This way, they can just wipe all data from a phone when it gets lost or stolen – removing any possibility of precious data going to the wrong hands.
A lot of the attacks done on SMBs were due to employee errors. This can be due to them clicking on phishing links or installing malware by accident. If you want a safe network, you need to make sure your employees understand the need for cybersecurity and the many ways they can help. Creating a cybersecurity best practices and security policy is a good start. However, this should be updated regularly as cyber-attacks are getting smarter every day.
Teach Safe Password Practices
When you are working for a company, it’s easy to get jaded on the passwords you use. So you pick the easiest one that comes into mind. However, studies show that over 60 percent of data breaches can be traced to weak, lost, or stolen passwords. While some businesses have their own password policies in place, more than half don’t enforce it. Employees are expected to use strong passwords that need to be changed every 60-90 days. Oh and please, using “password123” should be an offense in the workplace.
Create Back Ups
You may put up a good defense but it won’t work 100% of the time. There will be attacks that will come through no matter how many precautions you put in place. That’s why keeping a backup is always part of any cybersecurity plan. This ensures that even if the hackers get hold of your data and put it for ransom, you will still have a copy of it available which means you can operate again as you try to fix the damage. It’s always safer to keep your backup on the cloud and to keep multiple copies. Keeping a regular backup schedule will ensure you will have something to use when an attack happens.
Creating a new or updating your old cybersecurity policy can be quite a challenge for SMBs. However, you can always get help from IT support companies that specialize in securing businesses. For businesses in York, Gettysburg, and Harrisburg, you can turn to TREYSTA technology management for all your IT needs. The team behind TREYSTA have years of experience in helping businesses secure their business and customer data with a robust cybersecurity plan. Call TREYSTA today and ask how we can help protect you and your customers from cyberattacks.