Cyber Security - Hacker

Cyber Security: What every small business needs to know

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Small businesses, in recent years, are coming under an increasingly cyber-attacks. A look at the trend suggests that hackers are shifting their focus to small and medium-sized companies. This means your company has a higher chance of being attacked.

According to a recent report, 43 percent of cyber-attacks targeted small businesses. Of these attacks, 48 percent were malicious while human error and system failure accounted for the rest.

The question becomes what steps should you as a business owner take to protect your organization against online malicious attacks? That’s the question this article seeks to answer – you will find outlined the primary security measures, processes and policies you need to implement in your organization to beef up your data and information security infrastructure.

Protect your network with Firewall

Firewall configuration is one of the fundamental security measures implemented when businesses set up their networks. However, this is where it ends, whether due to IT personnel prioritizing operational issues over security or due to lack of security policies in place.

These small businesses see security as an afterthought believing that they’re too small to be the target of malicious attacks. In fact, according to one report, 66 percent of small businesses still think only large companies are the focus of hackers. This thinking leads to a fatal letting down of guards hackers can easily exploit.

However, with the increasing spate of hacking and malicious attacks directed at SMBs, smart businesses are beginning to look towards FWAAS (Firewall as a service) solutions to secure their network, defend against cyber-attack, and keep sensitive data safe.

Understand that your employees are your first line of defense

Over 35 percent of cyber-attacks can be traced to negligence or human error. So as a business owner never assume your staff knows what to do. Spell it out; outline your firm’s security processes; let them understand what they need to do whenever they receive suspicious looking emails, and most importantly ensure they sign off on a corporate security policy.

Empowering your employees through focused sessions that explores different cyber-attacks while also testing their security knowledge goes a long way in keeping down the odds of an attack.

Implement Strong passwords, two-way authentication on all account

You don’t want to make it easy on the hackers so using strong passwords – here means a combination of upper and lower case letters, special characters, and numbers – plus a two-way authentication process makes it doubly difficult for attackers to break into your network.

But, you must guide against the following:

  • Using the same password for different accounts.
  • Storing passwords un-securely.
  • Weak passwords that are easy to guess.

Here are some password best practices you should implement:

  • Use password manager to save and keep track of all your passwords securely.
  • Avoid the use of personal or familiar terms for your passwords.
  • Regularly update your passwords – the industry standard is to change your password every 90 days.
  • Keep your password backup options up to date.

Final thoughts

Cybersecurity concerns are no longer exclusive to larger corporations, today, businesses of all sizes are prone to attacks. However, small businesses are even at a higher risk since they often lack the budget, personnel, and infrastructure to set up secure defenses, hence becoming an easy target of malicious attacks.

Making sure your business is adequately protected can be a daunting task; however, with solutions such as Firewall as a service, you can rest easy about your organization’s security.

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