Five cyber security tips for SMEs

Want to protect your business from expensive hacks? Here are five cyber security tips for SMEs.

You might assume that your small business is not enticing to hackers. However, even small businesses have a lot of information such as 1099s and W2s that hackers can access.

Here are five of the best ways to prepare your small business against an attack. 

Trethowans
Trethowans

1) Use managed IT services 

Your IT resources don’t match what large companies possess. It’s easy to question how you can keep up with the same risks and threats the large companies deal with every day.

However, you can use managed IT services where you can use a dedicated team to handle any cyber attacks on your business. Basically, you don’t need a fully-funded IT department in your business to deal with these attacks. 

As a small business, you need to find the best ways to amp up your web security. That way, you can survive any type of attack such as a ransomware, intrusion or a DDoS attack. Managed Service Providers offer access to the best options such as 24/7 monitoring of your security system.

Other services offered by MSPs include helpdesk support, backups, setting up new equipment for less money.

It’s much better than having an internal IT department in your business. You can use MSPs or an ISP with managed services to get these options.

Of course, you need to identify the type of support you need and they will handle the rest. They know how to fulfill their contract so they can provide the best security options for your business at the most reasonable price. 

2) Patch the vulnerabilities in your business 

One of the biggest breaches in 2018 happened to Equifax according to security consultant Jacob Riggs. As a result, personal information belonging to millions of people was exposed to the world. The company kept it quiet for six weeks.

However, it could have been prevented if the company had updated their software regularly. 

Most people put off software updates because they come up at the most inconvenient times. As such, they end up postponing it rather than doing it at the right time. Remember, your software update prompts you because there is a publicly available exploit that can’t be ignored.

If you want to be in safe hands, you need to patch the vulnerabilities in your company as soon as possible. That way, you an protect your personal data from hackers who are already waiting for you to lag behind with your software updates 

3) Give your employees training on the best practices 

Regardless of the kind of protection in place, your employees should always be placed in a position to succeed. Everyone in your SME needs to be on the same level regarding security.

Your staff should have regular training on the best security practices. This may include providing your team with access to online network security courses or other cybersecurity training on a regular basis.

These include having strong passwords, spotting suspicious links or attachments and also taking control of devices. Your employees should also know the importance of having separate login credentials for their work accounts and their personal ones. 

It should also extend to physical security. Here, employees should have an idea who can be in the office at any given time and spot a fishy situation effortlessly. Everyone should know the exit procedures.

Any disgruntled employees with active accounts are likely going to cause a lot of damage. There should be a proper plan in place for what you need to do if there are any changes to the team. 

4) The network should be physically secure 

Yes, you can focus on the web tools and monitoring because it’s critical but don’t forget about the physical concerns of your network. Most hackers are random people looking to make quick money. However, it’s easy to impregnate your security system by going to the router and resetting the button. 

Everything in the office should be secure. There should be video monitoring of the employees at all times. All the physical security options should be monitored too. Make sure that everything is covered to keep your office safe from intrusions. 

5) Increase the firewalls 

Most routers come with an inbuilt firewall to protect your internal network from outside attacks. However, it might not be activated automatically. It’s referred to as stateful packet inspection (SPI) or network address translation (NAT). You need to turn it on. 

That way, you can ensure that your software doesn’t send information over the network or through the internet without your permission. Make sure you install firewall software on the PC too. Most PCs come with their own firewalls especially if you are using the latest Windows Version. 

How safe is your business?

No one is safe from hackers, even SMEs. You need to take the time to put the best safety measures in place to avoid any cyber-attacks. Use these tips for the best results.