Many small businesses assume that they are too small to be targeted for cyberattack. That’s a big mistake.
It’s true that, in the past, hackers tended to overlook small businesses because they had fewer financial resources than large enterprises and relatively unknown brands. Now, however, small businesses are under siege.
- Like their larger counterparts, small organizations are conducting more and more business online. According to research by the National Cyber Security Alliance and Symantec, 66 percent of small to midsize businesses (SMBs) are dependent on the Internet for day-to-day operations.
- SMBs are collecting more and more sensitive information about employees, customers and suppliers. Sixty-nine percent of SMBs say they have sensitive information to protect.
- And, face it, SMBs tend to have weaker cyber security than larger organizations. Seventy-seven percent lack a formal, written Internet security policy, and 45 percent do not provide employees with security training.
In short, small businesses are easy targets that can pay potentially big dividends.
At the same time, cyberattacks are getting more sophisticated. Hackers perform sophisticated reconnaissance to determine an organization’s vulnerabilities. They then exploit these weaknesses to gain access to the network and inject malware that enables them to take control. Once the operation is complete, they take steps to hide their tracks and destroy incriminating evidence.
Not surprisingly, the cost, time and expertise required to develop and maintain adequate security are preventing most SMBs from effectively defending themselves against threats. Making matters more complicated is the emergence of mobile devices, cloud services and remote workforces, which have added a new layer of complexity to network security.
SMBs can make their networks more secure by developing, implementing, monitoring and enforcing clearly defined security policies and procedures.
- Make sure employees are using complex passwords – a combination of letters, numbers and special characters – that are different from personal passwords.
- Control the use of non-business applications that may create security risks.
- Instead of relying on the end-user’s consumer-grade antivirus software to keep your network secure, enterprise-grade software should be deployed and centrally managed by a network administrator.
- Encrypt all sensitive data and make sure that only specific users can access this information.
- Use a tested, automated backup solution to speed disaster recovery, as well as redundant systems that allow you to minimize downtime.
- Keep all security patches up-to-date to guard against the latest security vulnerabilities.
While these steps are absolutely critical to ensuring network security, a lack of resources will continue to keep many SMBs from securing their networks. However, a managed services provider can protect your organization against the most sophisticated threats, through remote monitoring and management coupled with the latest firewalls, data encryption, backup and disaster recovery solutions.
When Atlantic-IT.net is your outsourced IT department, we develop sound policies and procedures, remotely manage and monitor your network’s security, and help you maintain the highest levels of performance. Instead of making significant upfront investments in technology and personnel or putting security on the back burner, you can take advantage of our expertise and comprehensive support.
Let Atlantic-IT.net be your outsourced IT department and help prevent costly security breaches without compromising network performance.