Cyber Attacks on small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) are on the rise. When they hit, they can cause irreparable damage to a company. In fact, 60% of SMEs fold within only six months of a cyber-attack.
The trouble is, these small-scale hacks very rarely make the news. Everyone remembers last year’s WannaCry attack and the massive breaches at Yahoo!. But a cyber-attack on a company with say 150 employees is not headline news.
Maybe this lack of exposure has made many SMEs less concerned about cybersecurity? The fact that such a large number crumble after an attack certainly suggests that many companies don’t have adequate security measures in place.
You Are Responsible for Protecting your Customers
Away from the obvious fallout from a breach, SMEs now have GDPR to contend with too. Failing to protect customers from the growing threat of data breaches could result in fines. And they’re big – between 2% and 4% of annual turnover, or $24m, whichever figure is higher.
To prevent disaster, SMEs must act. Fast.
The following tips will help you keep your business, and your users, safe.
Educate your Employees
The security of your enterprise starts with your employees. They are your front-line defense against hackers, and you need to provide them with training, so they know what to look out for.
Two of the most common ways an employee can jeopardize your security is through poor password management and phishing.
It’s vital that every member of staff uses a robust and unique password to access your network. Train your staff on how to select good passwords and give them access to password managers too.
Another critical skill your employees need is the ability to recognize a phishing attack. If a member of staff can identify a scam email or untrustworthy website, they are far less likely to fall victim to hackers.
Update your Devices
All your hardware – that’s desktops, laptops, and mobile devices should have anti-virus and anti-malware software installed. But you’ve probably got lots of other software programs installed on your devices too.
Hackers like nothing more than to exploit software vulnerabilities. It only takes one vulnerable software program on one device to infect your entire network.
Companies often release patches to fix vulnerabilities but if you don’t install these updates, then you won’t be protected. Never ignore an update.
Make your WiFi Secure
Hackers can easily access your data if your WiFi network is unsecured. Make sure there is a sharp definition between guest WiFi and staff WiFi.
Don’t allow employees to access sensitive information over guest WiFi, and never give the public the opportunity to access your private, internal WiFi network.
In both instances, make sure your WiFi networks are password protected.
Backup All Important Data
If a worst-case scenario plays out and your company suffers a breach, you need a backup plan. The best way to ensure you get back the important files you need after an attack is to back them up.
Whether you store this data with a cloud storage platform, on a USB device, or an external hard drive, is up to you.
But in every case, make sure this information is both encrypted and password protected. All your primary hard drives and databases should be encrypted, and password protected too.
Be Cautious with User Access
There’s no need for every one of your employees to have access to the entirety of your network. This is just asking for trouble.
Instead, only allocate access to the parts of your network each individual needs to do their job. This way, any attack targeted at one individual employee won’t have a knock-on effect on your entire system.
Anyone can make a mistake. Limiting user access means these mistakes don’t have the potential to destroy your business.
Consult an Expert
All the above measures are incredibly important, but they take time and resources. Once you have all these protocols in place to secure your business, it’s time call in the pros.
A dedicated third-party security team will continuously monitor your website and act if your defenses fail.
Much more economically viable than hiring an in-house security team, a cybersecurity organization will provide you with ongoing protection, 24/7.
Don’t take the risk. Secure your site today.