Small businesses face the same security challenges as large enterprises. But they often have fewer resources available to combat those challenges. That’s a huge problem! And it’s the reason why 81% of all cyberattacks are against small and mid-businesses.
The constraints on SMBs security resources aren’t limited to finances. Most small businesses lack the manpower to tackle security challenges.
In fact, most SMBs rely on managed IT providers to protect their data. But this strategy doesn’t always work well. Often these providers are IT generalists with limited security training.
Isn’t that scary? Your data could be a sitting duck for hackers.
But I don’t want to discourage you, small business owner. SMBs are capable of protecting their data. In fact, with proper policies and education, small businesses can achieve effective security.
Here are 7 tips on how to have more effective small business security:
Cover the Basics
When it comes to security, the best results start with security fundamentals. For small businesses, security fundamentals include perimeter security, firewalls, and advanced endpoint protection.
Make Training a Priority
Every employee needs cyber security awareness training. Proper training will teach employees about phishing emails, passwords, and security policies.
The policy part is a crucial step for effective small business security. A good security policy goes over the best practices that you expect employees to follow. These practices should include procedures for keeping employee, vendor, and customer information safe. Also, the policy should cover protocols that employees must follow in case there is a breach.
It’s significant to note that employee training is a continuous process. It’s not a one and done kind of deal. Security training should occur every quarter. We also recommend sending out emails with security tips every now and again.
Build a Solid Patch/Update Process
All desktops, laptops, and mobile devices should be up to date. The same goes for all operating systems and applications. Why? Because updates help protect against the latest threat.
To help manage all the updates, you need a patch management policy. A patch management policy covers the process for all updates within your network. These include patches for routers, firewalls, servers, operating systems, etc.
In the best cases, a patch management policy will assess, install, test, and document each patch.
If you outsource IT, make sure your MSP is accountable for patching your system.
Make Multi-Authentication a Policy
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a form of security authentication that requires a user to present two or more authentication factors. In order for the authentication to be complete, the user must confirm each factor.
MFA can be a lot of things. But a common one is when a user first enters a password followed by an SMS code they receive on their phone.
Luckily, this is easy to do. Many cloud platforms and network directories now support two-factor authentication.
For more information on setting up MFA for business accounts, check out this blog.
Keep Track of Accounts
Most companies have a process for adding a new employee to their IT environment. Except for reclaiming hardware, many companies are less rigorous in the process when applied to a departing employee. Make sure that isn’t you!
Likewise, unauthorized people should not have access to company computers and accounts. Even a well-known, trusted person should not have access to unauthorized computers.
Backup & Recovery: Make sure it works
Regular and periodical backups help keep your data safe in the event of a disaster. For example, if your computer gets ransomware on it, you wouldn’t lose all your files. That’s because you have another copy somewhere else, like the Cloud or server.
All essential files should have a copy. For example, you might keep vendor information on your desktop. That vendor information should have a copy that is in the cloud or on a server. And remember, both copies should be secured, via encryption and/or passwords.
Also, make sure your backup works! Nothing is worse than not being able to access your files in a time of crisis.
If your IT department or MSP can’t provide you with excellent security, get help.
One of the most effective ways for an IT team to increase their security is through the efforts of others. It’s not uncommon for SMBs to use security service providers to amplify the capabilities of their in-house IT teams.
And you, happen to be in luck. MRW Systems does exactly this through our cyber security service, NetGarde. At NetGarde, we partner with you to help you predict, detect, and respond to cyber threats. Under our security wing, you’ll be able to continue to run your business with peace of mind.
To learn more about our effective small business security service, please click here.