As the owner/operator of a small to medium-sized business, you are likely well aware of all the cybersecurity threats that are out there and how important cyber security for SMB really is.
Unfortunately, many businesses don’t take the necessary precautions to protect themselves from cybercrime. Which is an especially alarming fact considering 86.2% of all SMBs are hit by at least one successful cybersecurity attack a year.
In this blog post, we will be discussing the essential cybersecurity measures that all small and medium-sized businesses should have in place. We will also be providing tips on how to implement and maintain these measures.
Why is SMB Cybersecurity so Important for 2023?
With the use of technology on the rise, cybercrime has become an ever-growing problem .
It is estimated that hackers are now targeting small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) 350% more than before (especially via phishing attacks ) – making it incredibly important to ensure your business is taking all necessary measures to protect itself.
Not only can a successful cyber attack lead to financial losses, but it can also damage your reputation and cost you customers (especially if client credit card information was pilfered). To avoid this risk, it’s vital that SMBs take the steps outlined below in order to maintain secure networks and protect their sensitive data .
What Are the Main Benefits of SMB Cybersecurity?
Having a good cybersecurity strategy in place can bring a range of benefits to your small business.
Improved customer confidence – Having secure networks lets customers know that their data is safe with you. It also reduces the chances of online fraud, protecting them from identity theft and other malicious attacks.
Reduced costs – Investing in cyber security measures now can save you money down the line by preventing costly damages from potential hacks or data breaches.
Lower risk ratings – Implementing appropriate cybersecurity measures can lower risk ratings, reducing your cyber insurance premiums and regulatory fines for non-compliance.
The 5 SMB Cybersecurity Measures Every Business Should Have in Place
1. Employee Education
Employees are often the weakest link in a company’s security chain, which is why it is important to ensure they have an adequate understanding of cyber security threats and how to prevent them (such as NOT connecting to unsecured WIFI networks with their mobile devices) .
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This can be done through regular training sessions and making sure all staff members are aware of the guidelines set out in your business’s cybersecurity policy.
2. Strong Passwords
It may seem obvious, but having strong passwords for both your staff accounts and any online services you use is essential when it comes to defending against cyber criminals.
Make sure your passwords are long, unique and hard to guess. And make sure you’re using multi-factor authentication as well. This way your sensitive information and customer information will be much harder for hackers to steal.
Firewalls are an incredible cybersecurity solution and help protect networks from unauthorized access by blocking malicious traffic from entering the network. It is important to ensure that your firewalls are up-to-date and regularly monitored.
4. Antivirus Software
Having antivirus software installed on all of your systems is essential when it comes to protecting against malware, ransomware, and other malicious programs. Make sure you keep the software up-to-date so that any new threats are identified quickly.
5. Regular Backups
Regularly backing up your data helps protect your business from data loss in case of a cyber attack or system failure that results in your data being lost or stolen . Ensure you have a reliable backup plan in place which stores backups both locally and remotely for added protection.
How to Successfully Implement the SMB Cybersecurity Measures Every Business Should Have
1. Start with a Cybersecurity Audit
Before you start implementing any security measures, it is important to carry out a security risk assessment and an audit of your current systems and processes. This will help you identify any potential weaknesses and give you an understanding of what areas need extra protection.
2. Create a Cybersecurity Policy
Once the results of the audit are in, create a cybersecurity policy document that outlines all the measures that your business should have in place and how these should be implemented. Make sure to provide clear instructions for staff on how to use each security measure correctly – this could include details on using strong passwords or installing antivirus software.
3. Monitor Network Activity
To ensure that all security measures are working effectively, it is essential to monitor your network for any suspicious activity. This could include monitoring user accounts for any unusual logins or looking out for changes in traffic patterns.
Be more informed about how cybersecurity can protect your business AND reputation:
4. Educate Employees
As previously mentioned, employees can be the weak link when it comes to cyber security. Make sure to provide regular training on cybersecurity threats and how to protect against them, as well as setting up processes to ensure that all staff members are following the guidelines set out in your policy document.
5. Update Regularly
Finally, make sure you keep all of your systems updated with the latest security patches and updates – this helps reduce the risk of malicious attacks by closing any potential loopholes in your system’s defenses.
By taking these five steps, SMBs can ensure that their networks are protected from the latest cyber threats, meaning less time spent dealing with technical issues and more time for business growth. With the right security measures in place, SMBs can rest assured that their data is safe and secure.
Gaining Strong SMB Cybersecurity with iTBlueprint
At iTBlueprint, we provide comprehensive cybersecurity services for SMBs, from carrying out an initial security audit to developing a tailored cybersecurity policy document.
Our team of expert technicians are on-hand 24/7 to provide ongoing network monitoring and support and will ensure that all security measures are regularly updated with the latest patches and updates.
Our goal is to help businesses gain strong cyber security without having to invest large amounts of time or money in doing so.
We believe that every SMB should have access to high quality cybersecurity protection – let us help you get started today