In today’s cyber environment, there is little room for error. Malware and data breaches are in the news every day. With hackers attacking every 39 seconds and 65% of those attacks aimed at small or medium sized businesses, cybersecurity is something no business can risk ignoring. Every day, hackers evolve and become more sophisticated, coordinating multi-faceted attacks. 69% of organizations surveyed in the Ponemon Institute’s 2017 Cost of Data Breach Study believe recent threats cannot be blocked by their anti-virus software alone.
With the stakes so high, there’s truly a lot of ground to cover to stay ahead. There is no silver bullet when it comes to security which is why the layered approach is gaining traction.
Layered security is similar to military defense, creating multiple levels of protection to withstand penetration attempts by an attacker. You wouldn’t leave the fate of an army up to one single defense so why would you protect your business that way?
Combining multiple mitigating security controls sounds like a huge task, taking up far more time and money than the average organization can spare. That can be a real problem if you don’t have a talented cybersecurity professional in-house.
Tools and Technology
Having the right tools and technology goes a long way in protecting your business. The best way to start that plan is to procure a next-generation firewall. Perimeter security is essential to keeping criminals out of the network. Firewalls are an extremely effective part of those defenses, stopping the vast majority of attacks.
Email security should be another consideration. With the huge amount of malware distributed via phishing, spear-phishing, and business email compromise scams, using extra measures to keep email secure is worth it.
Password management, or the lack thereof, has been a constant problem for many SMBs, from. Make sure to use difficult to crack passwords as well as a password manager application to keep them all in one secure place.
As cyber attacks are constantly evolving it’s important to research the current threats. A business can’t possibly be prepared for an attack if no one knows what it is. For example, maybe there are some specific vulnerabilities hackers are constantly exploiting. When your staff is armed with the knowledge of those attacks, it’s easier to be more proactive and make necessary updates before an issue arises.
It is also important to perform regular IT audits, evaluating the infrastructure, policies and operations. Security is not a one-time activity. Constant monitoring is necessary to determine if there are anomalies associated with the system or management.
Cyber attacks are inevitable, so it is essential to have strategies in place to respond quickly and effectively to any incidents to minimize damage. This is where a CIRP, or cyber incident response plan, comes into play. This includes identifying, analyzing, containing, and eradicating the issue and recovering the data.
Security Awareness Training
Just as important as the tools and processes are the training program. Employees can be, and often are, the weakest link when it comes to cybersecurity, which is why they are specifically targeted by hackers. However, when well informed, employees can be the first line of defense.
Conducting regular training sessions throughout the year can be a tremendous help. Make sure to educate your staff about things such as not installing outside software that could create security vulnerabilities and reporting unusual activities on their computers. Employees should also be wary of the latest phishing scams and know how to spot the warning signs.
Also consider policies such as least privilege, which provides only certain people with access to sensitive data. The fewer employees who have access, the better off your organization will be, especially when it comes to protecting sensitive information.
How Does This Work for an SMB?
Cybersecurity cannot be ignored anymore, especially for the hackers’ biggest target: the SMB.
Security can be a daunting task, and that’s why hiring experts can be extremely beneficial. That’s especially true for organizations that are not large enough to have their own IT teams. Outsourcing that work helps keep everyone on task without spending a huge amount of time worrying about and trying to manage a multi-faceted cybersecurity plan.
Consider working with Netzbahn for a cost-effective customized program that covers the concerns that are most important to you and your business.