Cybersecurity best practices for SMBs

Cybersecurity best practices for SMBs

While many SMBs are keen on embracing cloud computing, virtualization, VoIP, and other technologies, only a small percentage are proactive about cybersecurity — and this is what makes them highly vulnerable to the raft of cyberthreats out there. Cybercriminals are well aware of these vulnerabilities and aren’t shy about taking advantage of them, and they don’t care if you’re an SMB or one of the largest corporations in the world.

The fact that 67 percent of SMBs in the US experienced a cyberattack in 2018, as reported by the Ponemon Institute, underscores the need for business owners to put a little more effort into their cybersecurity. If you’re interested in not falling victim to cybercrime and taking your business to new and greater heights, shore up your defenses by following these cybersecurity best practices.

Stay up to date

Keeping your systems and data protected at all times starts with the basics — that is, your software. It is one of the most essential components of any IT infrastructure, and it’s impossible to do anything without it.

No matter what software you’ve got, it’s a must to install the latest updates and patches as soon as they are available. This is important now more than ever, as cybercriminals are constantly looking for weak points in your system as well as developing more sophisticated malware that can get into the smallest of security holes. The longer you wait to implement updates, the better chances hackers have to infiltrate your systems.

Create a cybersecurity culture

Today’s workers consider themselves to be tech-savvy, yet 25 percent of data breaches in the US are caused by human error. Among the biggest mistakes employees make are using the same password for multiple accounts, mindlessly clicking on suspicious links in emails, and being just plain careless with the devices they use for work, whether company-issued or personally owned.

A good way to keep them from making these mistakes is to create and foster a sustainable cybersecurity culture. You can do this by raising awareness about cyberthreats and how they can get into your systems. Regularly holding training and other activities that will educate your staff on security awareness and vigilance will also help you achieve this goal.

Put policies in place

You should also enforce strict policies on creating and using strong passwords, using the company network, reporting suspicious emails, and clicking links and downloading attachments. If your firm has a bring your own device (BYOD) policy in place, make sure that your employees’ smartphones, tablets, and laptops also comply with these and any other security policies your company has.

Other controls to consider are multifactor authentication, spam and phishing email filters, access privileges, and data backup policies.

Test your incident response plan

In some ways, having an incident response plan but not testing it is just as dangerous — if not more so — than having no plan at all. Testing should be done at least quarterly, and updating based on the outcomes should be done as needed.

Running a drill of your incident response plan allows you to determine any weak spots or areas that need to be reiterated or refined. It will also train all employees, not just the ones responsible for enacting it (i.e., your IT team), in detecting and containing a breach quickly. Such exercises, especially if done regularly, will ensure that your team will know what to do when disaster strikes, thus reducing recovery time so you get back up and running immediately.

If you need help implementing cybersecurity best practices for your Pennsylvania SMB, turn to Nye Technical Services. We have the experience and expertise in deploying cybersecurity solutions that ensure your applications and systems run optimally and securely 24/7/365. Contact us today, and learn more about how we can help you manage your business IT.

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