5 Cybersecurity best practices every small business should follow

5 Cybersecurity best practices every small business should follow

Many small business leaders assume that hackers only go for big-fish targets. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. While attacks against major organizations do tend to make the best headlines, smaller businesses are still the favorite targets for cybercriminals. Small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) routinely handle a great deal of valuable information, and they’re also seen as easy targets.

Cybersecurity has become the concern of the century, across every industry and in businesses of all sizes. Technology plays a central role in everything you do and everything that your brand represents, which is why you need to integrate security into your entire operational infrastructure. If that sounds like a lofty goal, we can break it down into more digestible chunks:

#1. Mobile device management

Cloud and mobile technologies have empowered workforces like never before. However, the rise of mobile device use has also increased cyberattack opportunities exponentially, not least because they’re high-risk objects that often end up getting misplaced or stolen. Factor in a policy that lets employees use their own devices for work, and you’ve got another concern to add to the mix.

Mobile device management (MDM) solutions help administrators track mobile assets and their security. Providing a centralized platform for managing access rights and remotely wiping lost or stolen devices, MDM is a must-have in any modern business.

#2. Intrusion detection and prevention

Firewalls have long been used to protect corporate networks from unauthorized traffic and computers both at home and in the workplace. Unfortunately, firewalls are no longer enough to protect your business from cyberthreats. Given the increasing complexity and diversity of attacks, businesses need a way to proactively detect and prevent suspicious behavior before it makes its way into your network.

Intrusion detection and intrusion prevention systems (IDS and IPS, respectively) are commonly confused, but they both provide very important functions. Most significantly, they are updated via the cloud and use machine learning to flag suspicious app activity and network traffic.

#3. Ongoing awareness training

Contrary to popular belief, most data breaches don’t arise from inherent vulnerabilities in technology, but from human ignorance. Social engineering scams, for example, rely entirely on human weakness to dupe unsuspecting victims into taking a desired action, such as spelling a password out on a call with a supposedly trusted representative. Unfortunately, there’s not a great deal technology can do to prevent that, and social engineering will always be a serious threat if you don’t have a well-prepared workforce.

Ongoing security awareness training will transform your team from being a disaster waiting to happen into a human firewall. By keeping them informed about the ever-changing threat landscape, they’ll be much better equipped to detect and mitigate threats.

#4. Multifactor authentication

Relying on passwords alone to keep data secure is a recipe for disaster, particularly when it comes to protecting mobile devices and cloud-hosted systems. Given the constant threat of social engineering scams, criminals can easily get hold of passwords and gain access to confidential data. That’s why every system, particularly those residing outside of your physical office space, needs an additional authentication layer.

Multifactor authentication (also known as MFA or 2FA) reduces your reliance on passwords by adding an extra authentication method, such as fingerprint scanning, facial recognition, or a mobile authenticator app.

#5. Strong password policies

Although multifactor authentication is a must-have in today’s predominantly cloud-hosted computing infrastructures, passwords remain a central part of cybersecurity. Unfortunately, many people have developed terrible password habits, favoring those that are easy to remember and quick to enter. Theirs are also the ones that hackers can crack within seconds or minutes.

Your password policies should prevent users from creating simple passwords, reusing old passwords or using the same passwords for multiple accounts. Instead, enforce a policy in which different alphanumeric passwords must be used for everything.

Enteracloud provides innovative technology solutions and support to businesses in and around San Diego. Call us today to schedule your first consultation for free.