The importance of having effective cyber security measures in place cannot be ignored today. After all, it seems that a day does not go by without news of a data breach. However, one problem when it comes to SMEs is that a lot of business owners have the “it won’t happen to me” attitude. They believe that security incidents only impact big businesses.
However, this could not be further from the truth. All businesses are targets. In fact, a lot of cyber criminals view small companies as an easy payday because they do not have the money to invest in sophisticated security software and personnel in order to protect their data. Therefore, the first thing you definitely need to do is recognise that your business is, indeed, at risk. Once you acknowledge this, you can then put the steps in place to protect your business. Read on to discover more about some of the top cyber security essentials for SMEs…
There is only one place to begin, and this is by educating employees. If you take a look at the cyber security statistics that have been posted online, you will see that the vast majority of data breaches that have occurred have happened because of insider incidents. While these incidents can be malicious, they tend to happen because of employee error. And, these mistakes are made because employees do not receive the right training and so they do not know how to act in a manner that will protect the computer systems. This is why it is so important to make sure that your employees know how to act in a secure manner, from how to create and maintain a strong password policy to how to act when it comes to using their own devices for work purposes.
While a lot of small companies often operate by intuitional knowledge and word of mouth, it is essential to document your protocols when it comes to cyber security. This ensures that everyone has something to refer to when it comes to acting in a safe manner at your organisation.
While there is no denying that it is critical to ensure you protect your business and lower the risk of a breach, you still need to make sure that you back up all of your data on a regular basis too. You must back up word processing documents, as well as accounts receivable/payable files, human resource files, financial files, databases, and spreadsheets. Make sure all of your data is stored in the cloud in a secure way.
Aside from the suggestions that have already been mentioned, it is advisable to use a firewall. A firewall is one of the first lines of defense in a cyber-attack. It is advisable for all businesses to use this sort of tool in order to put up a barrier effectively when it comes to cyber criminals and your data. It is like building a physical wall. Aside from a standard external firewall, a lot of companies are opting to provide additional protection through installing internal firewalls. If your employees work from home, you should also make sure that they have a firewall in place too.
This means that your employees will need to complete another process when logging on, aside from just entering their password. This could be that a code is text to their mobile phone, for example, and they need to input this.
Another way to protect your business is to hire an ethical hacker. These professionals are sometimes known as penetration testers. This is a professional that will essentially hack your system. However, rather than doing this for malicious reasons; they do this so that they can discover any vulnerabilities within your system. This will ensure that you are able to patch up and fix these vulnerabilities before a genuine hacker exploits them.
So there you have it: some of the important steps that you need to take when it comes to protecting your business. There is no denying that the cyber security threat is very real and this is something that all businesses need to be concerned with today. If you follow all of the tips that have been mentioned above, you can put yourself in a great position in terms of protecting your company and moving forward with the peace of mind that you have patched up any security vulnerabilities.