Small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) are a favorite target of cybercriminals because they often don’t have the same level of security that larger businesses do. This can leave them vulnerable to attacks that can steal data, damage equipment, or even shut down the company. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your business network from cybercriminals and keep your data safe.
1. Closely monitor your network traffic
Tools such as firewalls and intrusion detection/prevention systems can help you monitor your network traffic for suspicious activities. They inspect all traffic that passes through your network and look for anything that seems out of the ordinary so you can detect attacks early and prevent them from doing damage.
2. Keep your frontline defenses up to date
Install the latest patches and updates for your antivirus or anti-malware program, firewalls, and other security software. Likewise, make sure the operating systems and apps that your employees use are up to date. Cybercriminals often take advantage of outdated software to launch attacks, so it’s crucial to keep everything up to date to close any security holes your devices or software might have.
3. Use strong passwords
This one should be a no-brainer, but far too many people still use weak passwords. A strong password is at least eight characters long and includes a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols. Teach your employees to create strong passwords and to never use the same password for multiple accounts. You can also have them use a password manager to help create and store strong passwords.
4. Stay abreast of new threats
It’s essential to keep up with the latest security threats so that you can take steps to protect your network from them. There are a number of resources you can use to stay informed, including security blogs, newsletters, and online forums. You can also partner with a managed IT services provider (MSP) that always stays updated on the latest threats and will help you implement security measures to protect your SMB's IT environment.
5. Protect your network against data loss
Data loss can be just as devastating to a business as a cyberattack, so it’s important to have measures in place to protect your data from accidental or unauthorized deletion, theft, or corruption. This can include using a data backup and recovery solution that creates backups of your data on a regular basis and stores them in a secure location.
6. Train your employees on security protocols
People are often seen as the weakest link in a company’s security chain. They can be tricked into opening malicious emails or visiting websites that automatically download malware onto their computer. That’s why it’s vital to train your employees on security protocols and how to identify potentially dangerous emails, websites, and attachments. You can also have them sign a security policy that outlines the rules they need to follow when using company devices and accessing company data.
7. Consider additional security options
There are a number of other security measures you can take to protect your SMB’s network. This includes using a virtual private network to create a secure connection between your devices and the internet, as well as implementing multifactor authentication to require additional authentication before users can access sensitive data. You can also use tools such as email and web filters to help prevent employees from opening malicious emails or visiting websites that could infect their devices.
With the amount of sensitive information that SMBs deal with on a daily basis, it’s essential to take steps to secure your network and protect your data from cybercriminals. Following the seven steps listed above can help you do just that.
For more information on securing your business network, contact our experts at outsourceIT. They can help you put in place the security measures needed to keep your SMB safe from cyberattacks and other online threats.