4 Cybersecurity Options That Can Protect SMBs From Online Threats
Ways That SMBs Can Reduce Cybersecurity Threats. Cybersecurity should be a major concern for anyone running a small to medium business. Having proper online security helps protect your customers, your employees, and the integrity of your business.
Most of us are aware of cyber security risks when it comes to online banking or giving out our personal data. However, many of us are unaware of the cybersecurity threats posed while we are at work. No matter if you’re running a coffee shop or a company organizing a Firefly Launch, online security is something that you should prioritize.
Many small and medium-sized business owners, however, are unaware of how their company could become a target. In fact, lax security at many SMBs encourages hackers and scammers to specifically aim for smaller companies that are less likely to have their online data locked down. If you run an SMB and are worried about data breaches, here are the top cybersecurity threats in 2021 and how you can safeguard yourself and your employees against them.
4 Ways That SMBs Can Reduce Cybersecurity Threats
Mandatory Password Changes
Any cyber security analyst will tell you that implementing cybersecurity policies is the first important step in improving your protection. Employees should be aware that they must only use work on devices provided by your office and that passwords must be secure. It is also a good idea to train staff to recognize the signs of email phishing scams. Although most people can spot obvious scams nowadays, phishing is constantly evolving and becoming more sophisticated.
Another useful cybersecurity policy is the enforcement of mandatory password changes. Employees should be required to change their passwords every 3-6 months to prevent breaches. Multi-step authentication options are also a solid choice. You should also update staff training regularly to thoroughly cover yourself.
Secure Mobile Devices
While employees should only perform business on work devices, many employees now work from home. This makes it more difficult for managers to supervise or monitor tasks performed on mobile devices. Many SMB owners are not even aware that this is something they should be doing.
However, a hacker could easily access your business and your customer’s data through a mobile breach. If employees are conducting business on their personal devices, breaches are even more likely to happen. Ensure that, when you ask employees to work from home, you provide appropriate devices for them to work on. These devices should be equipped with cybersecurity programs and should have a VPN installed. This will protect your remote employees and any data that they need to access.
Invest in Antimalware
A shocking number of SMBs don’t even use effective cybersecurity tools, like antimalware and antivirus software. Many small business owners are afraid of the costs, as these programs can be expensive to install. While financial pressure is a real concern for many small business owners, if someone breaches your cybersecurity salary losses, are likely to far outweigh the cost of antimalware.
Security and data breaches can even lead to businesses closing down or having their reputations irreparably damaged. Almost all small businesses now store customer data online, so failing to invest in proper security leaves your clients at risk. Antivirus and antimalware options should be your first line of business when researching online security. Choose long-lasting protection packages and keep them updated. You should also install these on phones and mobile devices used by employees.
Encrypting your company emails allows staff to send sensitive information more securely. Although your email server could still be hacked while encrypted, encryption can make it harder for hackers to read emails sent between employees. Using a reputable email server, like Gmail or Microsoft Office, will ensure that you have TSL (encryption while in transit) on your emails. This means that emails cannot be read while they are being sent.
However, for extra security, you should also consider investing in end-to-end encryption. End-to-end encryption means that only the sender and recipient can view the email contents. Emails with end-to-end encryption cannot even be read by the email server, ensuring that they are extra secure. This is a good idea if you work with lots of sensitive data.
Conclusion – Ways That SMBs Can Reduce Cybersecurity Threats
Cybersecurity is not something to sleep on if you run a business. A lack of proper security could put your livelihood and your clients at risk. Keep on top of cybersecurity news for the best chance of staying protected.
Final Call: Do you use cybersecurity tools for your SMB? Which ones do you rely on? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Author’s Bio: Ways That SMBs Can Reduce Cybersecurity Threats
Emily Moore is an English & programming teacher with a passion for space and blogging. She believes that current exploration should be focused on preserving our planet’s resources. With satellites circling the orbit, it is easier to get relevant data on any environmental changes. This, in turn, should help people quickly address any challenges.