Globally, over 20% of companies experienced a cyber attack in 2021. Cybercrime has become increasingly common and threats are more sophisticated than ever. The implications of attacks and security breaches can be devastating. More than 60% of small businesses fold within six months of a severe security incident. In this guide, we’ll discuss what organizations can do to reduce security risks and strengthen their online defenses.
Enhanced IT Support
Small and medium-sized businesses often operate on tight budgets, which means that it’s not always possible to create a dedicated IT department. If you run a company and you don’t have IT experts on your team, it’s wise to explore other ways to access enhanced IT support and professional advice. You could hire a consultant to review systems and procedures and make recommendations or outsource. Hiring an IT agency will help you to improve operations, minimize security risks and increase efficiency without adding new employees to your payroll. There are several advantages of managed IT services. Experts can identify and address existing issues and weaknesses, monitor systems, networks and devices to block threats, provide training and implement new software and policies to improve security. They can also help you to update the way you work to boost efficiency and save money and enable you to take advantage of cutting-edge technology to gain a competitive advantage.
Compliance And Rules And Regulations
Rules and regulations apply within many industries to protect businesses and organizations and the customers they serve. If you operate within certain sectors, you’ll need to make sure that your business is fully compliant. There may be additional measures in place if you handle or share data, for example, or you provide services, such as healthcare or financial advice. There are multiple ways to ensure compliance, including using software and programs to maximize cloud, device and network safety, such as Azure AD, appointing a security or compliance officer and outsourcing IT. It’s essential to make sure that you are up to speed with rules and regulations to avoid penalties and charges. If you fail to comply, you may suffer extensive financial losses. Your business reputation may also be affected.
Installing and updating security software is one of the best ways to improve and enhance safety and protect your business. Use antivirus and anti-malware software to identify and block threats and keep your network and devices secure. Run regular checks and make sure your software is updated. If you’re getting a lot of junk mail or spam, or you’ve noticed an increase in advertising or cookies, explore additional security options. You can filter junk messages and block senders by adjusting your settings or downloading or installing new software.
Providing Staff Training
More than 90% of security breaches occur as a result of errors made by employees or members of organizations. Providing staff training is a simple, effective way to reduce risks and prevent data loss. Search for courses that are relevant to your business and your employees. One popular option is to provide training to help your employees to identify spam and phishing mail. Some messages are easy to spot, but others look genuine. Clicking on links or responding to emails can contribute to security issues. If your employees complete a course or a workshop, they will learn to spot and block suspicious messages. Key giveaways include spelling mistakes, unknown sender addresses, poor grammar, threats and demands that would never be made by reputable organizations. Banks, for example, would never ask customers to respond to an email asking for account details or sensitive personal information or pay a certain amount to keep their account open.
It is particularly beneficial to ensure your employees have access to training if they handle sensitive data, or you operate within an industry that carries additional risks. Training will enhance security and minimize risks and it will also give your employees and customers more confidence.
Company Policies And Procedures
Every company should have policies and procedures in place to protect and shield data and ensure that employees and members have the relevant knowledge and expertise to operate devices and utilize networks and systems safely and effectively. Simple things like ensuring that every employee has a password and implementing multi-factor authentication can make a huge difference. Set guidelines for password use, including choosing codes that are difficult to guess and changing passwords frequently. It’s crucial to expand policies if you have adjusted the way you work, for example, switching to remote or hybrid work or enabling employees to bring their own devices to the office. Review policies regularly and consider seeking expert advice if you don’t have an in-house IT team. There may be additional measures you can take to prevent data breaches and cyber attacks.
Did you know that the average cost of downtime is around $5,600 per minute? If your systems go down, you could lose data, miss out on sales and damage your reputation. Ensure that everything is backed up and make sure you have contingency plans. Investing in robust security will help to lower the risk of downtime, but it’s wise to be proactive in making plans to cater to all eventualities. Backing up your data will enable you to access the information you need and minimize disruptions and delays. Test copies that you keep off-site to make sure that they work.
Cyber crime is one of the most significant threats to modern-day businesses. In 2021 alone, more than 20% of global companies experienced cyber attacks and security breaches. Prevention is always better than cure. Business owners should be proactive in reducing risks and blocking threats. Review and update policies and protocols, seek expert advice or consider outsourcing IT support, and ensure that your business is fully compliant. Provide training for your staff, update training frequently and take advantage of advanced security software and tools. Protect your networks and devices, implement policies and guidelines for the workplace and make sure that you backup key systems and test your copies regularly.