Cyberattacks are increasing at an alarming rate, with a global spike of 105% in ransomware attacks alone in 2021 across all industries, with the health care industry experiencing a 755% increase in overall activity by cybercriminals. Data breaches are becoming increasingly common, with large enterprises such as Solar Winds and others making headline news. As a small business, you may be tempted to breathe a sigh of relief, thinking that you are too insignificant to warrant attention from hackers.
Hackers are paying closer attention to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with 67% of companies with fewer than 1,000 employees being the victims of a cyberattack. Why? Because small businesses often have links to larger ones. For example, one large retailer was hacked using the network of one of their HVAC contractors. Other reasons include sabotaging your computer networks and using them as an army of bots, gaining access to sensitive or private data to sell on the Dark Web, or simply using extortion to get fast cash. Either way, your small business is at risk. The question is, what can you do to protect it that is within your budget?
Protecting Your Small Business with Budget-Friendly Cybersecurity
Smaller businesses don’t have the same hiring power as larger firms, so they often have a small — or even nonexistent — IT department, making it more difficult to stay abreast of the changing threat landscape. However, partnering with a third-party provider of managed services, such as Managed IT, can help you get access to leading-edge technology and professionals with expert technical knowledge that can help your company stay protected.
Smart Ways to Increase Your Cybersecurity Protection
Every business, no matter how small, needs a robust cybersecurity strategy to keep their data safe and their business continuity intact. Some important tips that you can deploy right away include:
- Start Educating Your Staff
Create a company wide cybersecurity policy including guidelines and best practices and make them a part of your onboarding process as well as periodic training.
- Keep Your Endpoints Clean
Make sure that your computers and other peripherals are updated with the latest software and security patches. Ensure that you have enabled an antivirus software to run automatically on a periodic basis.
- Add Firewalls
Add firewall security to your network, including internet connections. Make sure that any remote or work-from-home employees also have systems that are protected in this way.
- Backup, Backup, Backup
Make sure important data is backed up regularly and stored on a separate system, preferably offsite, and protected by access controls that only allow key personnel to gain access.
- Control Physical Access
Laptops and other mobile devices can be lost or stolen, so they should always be locked up when they are not needed or are unattended. Strong passwords or two-factor authentication on these devices should be required, as with your on-premises machines.
- Limit Access
Never give one employee control over or access to all your systems. System access should be on a need-only basis and all access should be reviewed periodically to ensure it still applies.
Of course, one of the most critical things you can do to protect your business is to work closely with cybersecurity professionals that have access to current knowledge and protection strategies. For small businesses, this means partnering with a competent managed services provider (MSP).
Partner with Blue Technologies for Targeted, Cost-Effective Cybersecurity
At Blue Technologies, we are sensitive to the needs of our SMB clients. That is why we offer a full spectrum of Managed IT services that include leading-edge cybersecurity strategies that can be accessed, deployed, and managed in a cost-effective way. Our comprehensive knowledge allows us to keep you protected against emerging threats with the latest technologies, for one simple, easy-to-budget monthly payment.
Take the pressure off your in-house IT department and get the power of cutting-edge knowledge to keep your data safe. Contact a Blue Technologies consultant and learn how partnering with us for Managed IT services can help you keep your small business protected.