The likelihood that a hacker has your small business in the crosshairs is higher than you think.
According to this Barkly report, 61 percent of small businesses in the U.S. experienced a cyberattack from May 2017 to May 2018 — up 6 percent from the previous year. Even worse? According to the same report, malware-related attacks cost small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) an average of $2.2 million: $1 million due to damage or theft of IT assets and $1.2 million due to disruption of normal business operations.
Think about those statistics for a second. Can your business afford to lose that much money?
It’s 2019 and no business of any size has the luxury of being lackadaisical about its cybersecurity. Take a proactive approach to fending off hackers by following these tips.
- Tighten Up Your Mobility Policy: The popularity and viability of remote offices continues to increase as more and more businesses enable VPN access. While there are clear and obvious benefits to mobility, the downside is the threat it poses to your security.
Wherever your employees are working, they are taking your data with them. This data can be easily stolen if your employees use unsecured wireless networks or exercise poor judgment in public places, where inquiring eyes and ears lurk about. The safest policy is to restrict network access to the confines of your office, but if that’s not realistic, at the very least you should prohibit employees from working in coffeeshops, airports and other bustling spaces.
- Educate Your Employees: All employees, regardless of job title, should undergo mandatory cybersecurity training that breaks down what they should and should never do on their work computers. The majority of SMB security problems stem from a single employee visiting an unsafe website, clicking on a suspicious link or downloading a malicious file. Cybersecurity training can help you stamp out some of the behaviors that make networks vulnerable.
- Update Your Operating Systems: It’s pretty shocking how many computers and smartphones out there are running on obsolete, security-deficient operating systems. A single device running on an old OS can give a hacker the keys to your entire network. Your devices should ping you when an operating system update is available — be sure that your employees install these updates immediately so there’s never a lapse in your cybersecurity.
- Update Passwords Frequently: Frustrate hackers by requiring employees to change their passwords at least once every couple of months. Using the same password for an extended period of time will only increase the chances that a determined hacker eventually cracks your code. To that end, all passwords should feature a random combination of letters, numbers and symbols, and should never be written down or stored in places where they can be discovered.
- Encrypt Your Data: This will provide your business with an extra layer of security in case an employee’s device falls into the hands of the wrong person. Encrypting data — making it indecipherable to anyone without a password — is particularly important for businesses that store sensitive data, such as credit card numbers. There are several encryption programs you can install right now that will help you safeguard your data.
- Get Professional Support: Partnering with a cybersecurity company such as BrevAll Technologies is the surest way to prevent your network from being breached. From dark web monitoring and managed IT services, to security training and technical assistance, we will enhance your business’s security in every conceivable way.
Remember: the average malware attack costs SMBs over $2 million! Don’t become a cautionary tale. Contact BrevAll Technologies today to protect your business at a price you can afford.