Cyber security for SMEs

Cyber security for SMEs

Dennis Snider

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Hackers only target large businesses, right? Sadly, this is not true. Although you may feel an unlikely target, 71% of all cyber-attacks are experienced by firms with staff under 100.

As most cyber-attacks focus on credit card theft or identity theft, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are often an easier target.

So, how can you avoid cyber-attacks? Here are some top tips:

  1. Build your defenses. Firewalls provide the initial defense against cyber-attack. As well as standard external firewalls, many firms are choosing to install internal firewalls for extra security. Further, any work-from-home employees should also have firewalls installed on their home networks. It’s worth funding these home networks to ensure that your employees are compliant, and your business is protected.
  2. Be device-savvy. 59% of businesses allow their staff to bring their own devices into work. If this is the case, you’d be sensible to document a clear BYOD policy and ensure that it promotes information security. As the wearable tech becomes increasingly capable, it becomes more and more pertinent to address these devices in your policy. Extend your company password policy to all employee devices.
  3. Back it up. While prevention may be better than the cure, no firm can ever be completely safe from hackers. Businesses should regularly back up their documents, databases, spreadsheets, financial documents, HR files and invoicing streams. Equally, firms should back up any files that are saved on the cloud.
  4. Use anti-malware. While most of us are wise to phishing emails, 30% of employees can be expected to open these unsolicited messages. If their embedded links are clicked, phishing emails install harmful software onto the host computer. Protect against these attacks by installing anti-malware software on your office network and any connected devices
  5. Embrace multifactor identification. No matter how security conscious you are, sooner or later an employee will make a mistake and jeopardize your data. Multifactor identification gives an extra layer of protection and is available on most major networks and email systems. Employees may choose their mobile telephones as a second source of account verification. Hackers, after all, are unlikely to have both their PIN number and their password.

The nature of the threat is constantly changing, and cyber criminals are becoming ever-more sophisticated. For best protection, cyber security should be top of your company agenda.

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