The Best Cyber Security Tips for SMBs

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The business size does not matter when it comes to cybersecurity. Some small businesses make cyber security a priority, and hackers know it. According to a survey, the number of small businesses hit has steadily increased over the past few years – 46% of cyber breaches affected businesses with fewer than 1,000 employees.

Security for any business does not have to be complicated or expensive. Here are seven simple tips to help small enterprises to secure their systems, people, and data.

1 - Install antivirus everywhere

Every organization has antivirus software on its systems and devices. Unfortunately, business systems like web servers are often overlooked. Small and medium businesses need to consider all access points in their network and deploy antivirus software on each server and employee’s devices. Hackers can find weak entry points to install malware, and antivirus software can serve as an excellent backstop. With continuous monitoring and penetration testing, you can identify weaknesses and vulnerabilities before hackers do.

2 - Constantly observe your surroundings

Your environment is under remote attacks because it is available 24/7. Hackers constantly scan the Internet for vulnerabilities, so you should also check your surroundings. The longer an exposure goes unfixed, the more likely an attack will occur. With readily available tools, it’s easier for attackers to find and exploit internet vulnerabilities.

Organizations that cannot afford full-time in-house security experts can outsource IT services to run vulnerability scans. An IT service provider enforces a continuous security audit of your system, immediately identifies high-impact flaws and changes in the attack surface, and quickly scans the infrastructure for emerging threats.

3 - Reduce The Attack Scope

Your attack surface consists of all systems and services exposed to the Internet. The larger the attack surface, the higher the stakes. It means exposed services like Microsoft Exchange for email or content management systems like WordPress can be vulnerable to brute force or credential stuffing. New vulnerabilities are discovered in these software systems almost every day. By eliminating public  access to sensitive systems and interfaces that don’t need to be in the public eye and ensuring that two-factor authentication (2FA) is enabled, you can limit your exposure and significantly reduce your risk.

Mitigating the size of an attack is an easy first step by using a secure Virtual Private Network (VPN). With a VPN, you can avoid exposing sensitive systems directly to the Internet while maintaining availability for remote employees. Regarding risk, prevention is better than cure – don’t disclose anything on the Internet unless necessary!

4 - Keep the software up to date

New vulnerabilities are discovered daily in all types of software, from web browsers to business applications. A single, unprecedented exposure can lead to a system compromise and customer data breach. According to a cybersecurity breach survey, companies that hold their customers’ electronic personal data are more likely than average to experience a breach. Patch management is an essential component of good cyber hygiene, and some tools and services can help you scan your software for any missing security patches.

5 - Back up your data

Ransomware is on the rise. 37% of businesses and organizations were infected with ransomware, according to research. Ransomware encrypts any data it has access to, rendering it unusable and irreversible without a key. Data loss due to malicious intent or technical mishaps, such as hard drive failure, is a significant risk for any business, so backing up data is always recommended. If you back up your data, you can resist attackers by restoring your data without paying a ransom, as systems affected by ransomware can be restored from unaffected backups without the attacker’s key.

6 - Keep your employees safe

Online attackers often rely on human error, so employees must be trained in cyber hygiene to recognize threats and respond appropriately. The Cybersecurity Breach Survey found that the most common type of breach was employees receiving fraudulent emails or phishing attacks (73%), followed by people impersonating the organization in email or online (27%) and viruses, spyware, and malware (12%) and ransomware (4%).

Raising awareness of the benefits of using complex passwords and training employees to spot common attacks such as phishing emails and malicious links will ensure that your employees are a strength, not a vulnerability.

7 - Protect yourself from risks

Cybersecurity measures should always be appropriate for the organization. For example, a small business that handles banking transactions or has access to sensitive information, such as healthcare data, should use strict security procedures and practices. You can identify your threats and vulnerabilities with an IT service provider who can take appropriate steps to mitigate and prioritize which risks need to be addressed and in what order.

Where to get the best cybersecurity services at the best prices?

We, ITofUS, help organizations to avoid cyber attacks at the best prices. We follow the NIST Cybersecurity Framework and perform vulnerability, insider threat, APT assessments and management, security architecture design, and penetration testing to provide maximum security. Visit our website today and call us now!