9 Cybersecurity Practices for Small-Medium Size Businesses

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Cybersecurity is vital to any form of business, especially in recent years as the Small Business Committee reported that 71% of cybersecurity attacks occurred in companies with a staff count of less than 100.

It is easy to overlook the factor of cybersecurity when someone’s running an average-sized business, going in with the- “ain’t much to steal” attitude would result in a fatal loss of classified data.

Why do attackers target SMBs? Well, being a small-medium business does not immune any company from threats of cybersecurity attacks.

Moreover, it only makes them more vulnerable as attackers presume that such companies don’t necessarily have the budget and resources to hold against such attacks. 

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Every business that uses the internet is responsible for creating security enforced culture to protect consumer and employee data from any such threats.

Also, cybersecurity does necessarily mean protecting consumer data; any form of information on employees is equally important.

The Federal Communication Commission(FCC) launched the Cyber Security Planner, that’ll help business create customized cybersecurity plans.

In this article, we’ll look into some simple practices that can help SMBs protect themselves from such threats:

1. Use a Firewall

A firewall is the first line of defense that acts as a compact barrier between the systems and attacks from cybercriminals.

In addition to the external firewall, cybersecurity professionals recommend installing an internal firewall for increased protection. It is essential when an employee decides to work remotely that the company provides firewall protection on home networks.

2. Identification and Access Management Systems

Every business is equally complicated, to limit vulnerability that could expose information, SMBs should consider practicing the program of evoking, granting and revoking user access to technologies, and other classified information.

In simple words, enabling only the right individuals to access resources.

As most of the authentication depends on the standard username-password, it is highly prone to fall for phishing and hacking attacks.

Just like how every person has his/her uniques SSN, every firm should consider identifying every employee with such a unique identifier.

IAM systems enable such businesses to use such attributes enriching and facilitating the flow of user access, asset & access management, and other cybersecurity-related business functions.

3. Implement Safe Password Practice

According to the 2016 report, Verizon found that 63% of security breaches happen due to stolen or weak passwords.

Most SMBs do not enforce strong password policies, especially in the current environment of remote work and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).

Privileged accounts are like goldfields for cybercriminals, and businesses must take this seriously as unauthorized access could result in irreversible data and possible loss of revenue.

4. Use Multifactor Authentication

Employees are humans, and just like any other being, they’re too prone to committing mistakes.

It is highly likely that the action of the employee could compromise the firm’s data. Enters multi-factor authentication, this system enables an extra layer of protection to major network-related products and emails. Certified cybersecurity experts suggest using employee mobile numbers as the second form of the protection layer.

Cybercriminals are unlikely to pass through the second layer of protection, provided they get through the first lock. MFA systems also provide notifications whenever any suspicious activity gets detected.

5. Exercise Secure Payment Practices

Businesses should ensure that they use most-trusted and validated tools and anti-fraud services.

Seclude payment systems from the other less-guarded programs and enforce practices of not using the same devices for processing payments.

Wiping browser history, wipe cache, and cookies regularly should be included as part of employee cybersecurity practices.

6. Invest in Backup Solutions

It is equally essential to anticipate security breaches and take measures to prevent the business from the same.

In case of data loss due to a breach or virus injection, having a secure backup solution allows restoration.

7. Plan for Remote Devices

As per a recent survey, 77% of those who took part confirmed that they use free public WiFi networks to access work stuff over their mobile devices, such networks are often unsecured. Only 17% of them stated that they use a VPN when outside of the office.

With the increasing use of smartwatch and wearable devices, attacks through non-trustworthy networks are easily possible, and hacking is a mainstream business that corporates should vary off.

8. Educate Employees on Cybersecurity Practices

SMBs usually have employees who double-up on their roles in the companies, which makes it essential for all the employees to have trained themselves on the basic cybersecurity practices.

SMBs must make employees sign documentation that holds them accountable for any security compromise that occurred due to the carelessness of the said employees.

Such policies enforce employees to look out for threats and act smartly around confidential data.

9. Cybersecurity Insurance

One of the most overlooked solutions and the one that falls a little out of context is cybersecurity insurance.

Such policies can help recover from losses in case of attacks, rather than trying to recover and going on a spending spree for baring legal fees.

According to Hiscox, only 21% of SMBs have any form of security insurance.

Small businesses often assume such insurances are for large scale businesses, but insurance agencies are nowadays providing customizable coverage plans tailor-made for small-to-medium businesses.

Conclusion

When it comes to cybersecurity, being an SMB is much more stressful because of the budget constraints.

These practices are just some handful of measures that’ll help businesses be proactive and prepared from attacks by cybercriminals.

The fact that one single silly wrong click of the mouse could lead to impeccable loss of information, affecting the business’ revenue adversely is terrifying. Hence, such practices must be incorporated.

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