Cybersecurity Tips for Small Businesses

In the digital age, cybersecurity is an issue that SMEs need to be equipped to deal with. While combating cyber attacks is challenging for small to midsize businesses, particularly those that are under-resourced or have small – or even non-existent – security specialists in-house, it nevertheless remains a top priority.  

As we move forward into an era of remote working and distributed workforces, keeping increasingly complex digital infrastructures safe from security breaches is typically the focus for businesses and organisations. However, for SMEs, this is a challenge that often extends beyond their accessible resources. What then, should small business owners focus on when it comes to strengthening digital security?  

Managed Detection and Response (MDR) is a type of cybersecurity service that combines advanced threat detection technologies, threat hunting techniques, and incident response capabilities to provide continuous monitoring, detection, and response to cyber threats. MDR services are designed to help organizations detect and respond to cyber attacks in real-time, minimizing the impact and reducing the time it takes to remediate the attack. For businesses seeking advanced threat intelligence solutions, Cyware offers a comprehensive suite tailored for evolving cyber challenges.

Begin with Risk Assessments 

Rather than trying to stop every potential cyberattack from penetrating digital systems, it’s more resourceful for business leaders to instead formulate a strict plan of action for the worst-case scenario.  

Conducting a thorough cybersecurity risk assessment will empower businesses to both understand the most critical threats and formulate effective ways to deal with them.  

The focus should be on deploying methods that can quickly contain any potential threats and minimise the negative effects they could have. Accepting breaches to cybersecurity is, unfortunately, part and parcel of operating in the online world. But minimising their impact is something all SMEs can strategise for. 

Foster a Culture of Cybersecurity 

Once you know what potential threats are out there, it’s time to foster a culture of cybersecurity within the organisation. All stakeholders and employees should know about the importance of cybersecurity, and business leaders need to take charge when it comes to initiating new measures and deploying them throughout the organisation. 

Creating clear and straightforward cybersecurity practices is important at this stage. Although they will vary from business to business depending on its niche, the rules and instructions should be applied to every member of the organisation and include policies on areas like: social media/personal email use, using own devices, working from home, authentication and password requirements. 

Use Several Layers of Protection 

Business owners don’t necessarily need to search for the most complex cybersecurity systems. Instead, even basic measures can be the most effective when used in conjunction with other layers of protection.  

Implementing strong passwords, for example, combined with monitoring employee accounts can minimise possible intel breaches. Meanwhile, a firewall combined with a VPN and antivirus software will strengthen the network of an organisation and ensure endpoints aren’t vulnerable to threats.  

For those businesses running eCommerce platforms or making use of sensitive customer data in some way, it’s especially important to utilise multiple layers of protection in consumer-facing sites and landing pages. Operators in the iGaming industry, such as online casino sites like PokerStars Casino, are especially adept at this, pairing on-page TLS (Transport Layer Security) data encryption with multi-factor authentication to protect both the organisation and the end-user. 

Update Software on a Regular Basis 

Out of date or unpatched software can cause a major breach in cybersecurity. Exploiting software vulnerabilities is often the first port of call for hackers, and they’ll use several tactics to gain access to both data and an organisation’s network.  

Automating software updates is the most efficient way to keep firewalls, VPNs and in-house software current and resilient to attacks. It’s also something that can be easily done using cost-effective patch management tools like Atera or SuperOpps. 

Ensure Supply Chains are Secure 

Threats to cybersecurity don’t just come directly into an organisation’s network or software; the supply chain can also pose a risk to the integrity of internal security systems. Attackers are using increasingly sophisticated methods to find vulnerabilities in the systems of suppliers or third-party vendors, using what they find as a gateway to more extensive networks.  

While it’s easier said than done, all business leaders need to look at moving towards working with suppliers and vendors that take cybersecurity as seriously as they do. Before signing agreements, it’s important to check for robust policies and things like external certifications that prove the efficacy of existing cybersecurity methods. 

Leave a Comment