Cyber security continues to be a top concern for businesses, so we’ve put together five tips to better protect your business 2022. For most of 2021, security was one of the biggest concerns for businesses, regardless of size. Enterprise businesses have the budget and the staff to protect themselves against attacks with the best technology possible. But, for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMB), that’s not the case. In 2021, 40% of data breaches were directed at small businesses, and cyber attacks jumped 50% for medium-sized companies. A TechRepublic post describes how midsize companies are vulnerable to data breaches and other cyberattacks, and details the ways SMBs need to be more vigilant in protecting their networks against attacks.
Keep your business secure from cyber attacks this year with these five tips:
1. INTRODUCE A CYBER SECURITY TRAINING PROGRAM FOR EMPLOYEES
Employees are a business’ first line of defense against a cyber attack because most cyber attacks find their entry through a malicious link in an email. This is called phishing, and it’s the most common type of attack on small businesses.
Large enterprise businesses have departments that focus solely on security or training departments that put employee training programs into action. Educating employees on what to look for and the importance of protecting the business will significantly decrease the chance of a cyber attack.
A business should add a certified cybersecurity training plan for new employees and update it annually for all employees. Training can help employees identify potential cyber threats and teach them what to do if they receive or identify a threat. When it comes to cyber security, it’s better to be overly cautious and report anything that raises a red flag.
If you’re working with a managed service provider, they can help put together a custom training program specifically for your business and team. There’s also free training available through tech companies, organizations, and government agencies, including the Small Business Association. It recommends that companies review the following cyber security topics with employees:
- Recognizing a phishing email
- Practicing safe browsing
- Avoiding harmful downloads
- Creating strong passwords
- Protecting personal information
2. AUDIT THE CYBER SECURITY PLANS OF YOUR BUSINESS
Performing a yearly security audit provides an overview of possible gaps in the company network and other security challenges or risks. An audit will allow you to look at and evaluate current security documents, processes, and plans in the following areas:
- Data security
- Operational security
- Network security
- System security
- Physical security
Security audits can be done by an in-house team but are usually conducted by a security services company with current software and tools to perform a thorough audit. Not only will the security audit provide insight into areas that need addressing, but an audit will also help develop a strategy of how to best get back to business after an attack.
3. PERFORM PATCHES AND SOFTWARE UPDATES
Keeping up with all the latest (and ever-changing) trends in t operating systems and software may feel like a challenging, never-ending task, but it’s extremely important for a flawless security system. Hackers are always hunting for the security loopholes caused by outdated software and operating servers, and target weaknesses in IT infrastructures. Regularly updating your business software can eliminate these vulnerabilities.
Software updates include patches that are designed to fix bugs or loopholes in the software to keep the platform stable and safe from malware and other threats. Your IT team should not ignore or delay installing software updates. Neglecting updates delays complete protection and leaves an opening for an attack. In short: installation of patches and software updates should never be put off.
4. REGULARLY REVIEW AND UPDATE YOUR BACKUP AND RECOVERY PLAN
Imagine if your business suffered an attack without a backup and recovery plan. A comprehensive data backup and recovery plan is essential to minimizing downtime if your network is attacked, and is critical for business continuity maintenance. In the event of an attack, here’s a few important things to ask yourself:. How long would you be down? And, would you know what to do to recover the lost data?
Here are a few interesting data points:
- The majority of companies that lose data for more than ten days will likely end up filing bankruptcy within a year60% of backups are incomplete
- 50% of data restores fail
The scary truth is, the longer your business is down, the more customers you’ll lose. If you can’t service your customers, your competitors will. Even if you keep your customers, for many, their trust in your business may be tarnished. Even if you do everything you should do to prevent a cyber security attack, your system may still get broken into. But having a comprehensive backup and recovery plan will help keep your business running.
5. HIRE EXPERTS TO MONITOR YOUR NETWORK ACTIVITY
Cyber criminals are relentless. They’ll never give up trying to find ways to break into a network, which means businesses and organizations operating on the latest technology may be better protected. As a small business, it might be challenging to find skilled IT professionals who can monitor and protect your network and add an extra layer of protection. That’s why many companies turn to managed service providers. They can manage and monitor the network system 24/7, install upgrades and patches, perform system audits and periodically review and adjust the backup and recovery plan.
MAV Computers LLC specializes in managed IT services and security, cloud computing, and print/copy solutions for businesses across the US, including remote offices. MAV has more than 20 years of technology service with a national network of expert engineers. Request your no-obligation assessment today and get a free dark web analysis.