Security Tips

Top 7 Ways for SMBs to Improve Cybersecurity

5 Mins read
Cybersecurity for SMBs

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, the importance of cybersecurity cannot be overstated. Small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs), while being the backbone of many economies, often find themselves facing significant cybersecurity challenges.

Let’s take a look at some eye-opening statistics about cyber threats faced by SMBs:

  • Accenture’s study shows that 43% of cyber-attacks are aimed at small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).
  • Only 14% of the targeted SMBs have the preparedness to tackle these cyber-attacks.
  • The financial burden of cybersecurity incidents on SMBs can range from as low as $826 to a whopping $653,587, depending on the type and severity of the attack.
  • The predominant cause of cybersecurity breaches, as stated by the World Economic Forum, is human error, which accounts for 95% of such incidents.
  • Anticipations for the costs of cybercrime suggest a 15% rise over the upcoming five years, with a projected total of $10.5 trillion by 2025.

Source: Small Business Trends

To keep your business safe and secure, you need to have ways to watch out for any strange or suspicious things happening on your networks.

Now, let’s explore essential ways for SMBs to enhance their cybersecurity. Here are our top 7 cybersecurity tips for SMBs:

Cybersecurity Tips for SMBs

#1. Perform a risk analysis

One of the first steps in bolstering your cybersecurity is performing a risk analysis. This essential process helps you identify potential threats that could harm your most critical assets. To assist you in this endeavor, consider utilizing a free risk assessment tool that can evaluate your network and website for vulnerabilities. A risk assessment is a procedure for locating, analyzing, and ranking the risks to your company. Prior to implementing any cybersecurity measures, it is crucial to do a risk assessment so that you can concentrate on the most significant issues.

Recommendations:

During a risk assessment, you can ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are my most valuable assets?
  • What potential dangers or risks do these assets face?
  • How likely is it that these dangers will materialize?
  • If an attack succeeds, what would be the consequences or impact on my organization?

Based on your answers, prioritize the identified risks and devise effective risk mitigation strategies.

#2. Use strong passwords and multi-factor authentication

This makes gaining access to your systems more difficult for attackers. Passwords that are difficult to guess are defined as strong passwords. They must be at least 12 characters long and contain a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid using common terms or phrases as passwords as well.

Multi-factor authentication is a security procedure that necessitates the submission of two or more pieces of evidence in order to validate your identity. This could include something you know, like a password, as well as something you have, like a phone or a token.

Recommendations:

  • Use a variety of characters, including uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
  • Do not use common words or phrases.
  • Change your passwords regularly.

#3. Maintain software updates

Security patches are frequently included in software updates, which can help protect you from vulnerabilities. Software vulnerabilities are flaws in software that attackers can exploit. Security patches that address these vulnerabilities are frequently included in software upgrades. To protect yourself against these vulnerabilities, keep your software up to date.

Recommendations:

  • Enable automatic operating system and software upgrades.
  • Regularly check for updates and install them as soon as they become available.
  • Do not use pirated or cracked software as they may expose you to vulnerabilities.

#4. Use a firewall and antivirus software

These technologies can prevent harmful traffic and software from reaching your computers. A firewall serves as a vital network security device that diligently oversees both incoming and outgoing network traffic. Its primary function is to act as a gatekeeper, preventing malicious traffic from infiltrating your network. An antivirus program is a specialized software designed to safeguard your computer against various forms of malware, including viruses, trojans, and worms. In addition to prevention, it also aids in the removal of malware that may have already breached your computer’s defenses.

Recommendations:

  • Keep your firewall and antivirus software up to date.
  • Configure your firewall to restrict all incoming traffic except the traffic you require.
  • Regularly scan your machine for malware.
  • Remove any malware that has been discovered.

#5.  Train staff to identify phishing attacks

Ensure that your staff understands how to recognize and avoid phishing and other malicious emails. Phishing is a type of social engineering assault in which malicious emails are used to deceive victims into disclosing personal information or clicking on dangerous links. These emails may appear to come from trusted sources, such as your bank or credit card provider. They are, however, from attackers attempting to steal your information.

Recommendations:

  • Regular cybersecurity training should be provided.
  • Make use of a phishing simulator.
  • Create a reporting system. Encourage staff to notify their IT department if they receive any dubious emails or links.

#6. Segment your network

Segmenting your network makes it more difficult for an attacker to spread malware. The practise of splitting a network into smaller, more manageable portions is known as network segmentation. This can aid in the isolation of key systems, making it more difficult for an attacker to propagate malware.

Recommendations:

  • Determine which systems are crucial and isolate them from the rest of your network.
  • Firewalls can be used to control traffic between network parts.
  • Create independent logical networks within your physical network by using VLANs.

#7. Back up your data regularly

This will help you recover in the event of a data breach or other cyberattack.

A data backup is a copy of your data that is stored in a safe place. This way, if your data is lost or damaged, you can restore it from the backup.

Recommendations:

  • Back up your data regularly.
  • Store your backups in a safe place.
  • Test your backups regularly to make sure they are working.

By following these seven tips, you can help protect your small or medium-sized business from cyberattacks. Additionally, you can enhance your security with Avast cybersecurity solution.

ZNetLive offers all round protection for SMBs with Avast, in the form of:

  • Avast Business Antivirus: This software protects your devices from malware, ransomware, and other threats. It also includes features to help you manage your security settings and keep your software up to date.
  • Avast Business Firewall: This software helps protect your network from unauthorized access and malicious traffic.
  • Avast Business VPN: This software encrypts your traffic as it travels over the internet, making it more difficult for attackers to steal your data. The network segmentation feature of Avast can assist you in dividing your network into smaller, more secure portions. Avast can help businesses implement network segmentation by providing a variety of tools and features, including VLANs, IDS/IPS, Intrusion detection systems (IDS) and intrusion prevention systems (IPS), and Log analysis.
  • Avast Business Email Security: Avast’s phishing protection can help keep your staff safe from phishing frauds which includes emails scanning, attachment scanning, phishing URL detection, and anti-spam filters.
  • Avast Business Cloud Backup: Avast’s cloud backup is intended to allow customers to securely store crucial files and data in the cloud, adding an extra layer of security against data loss due to hardware failure, unintentional deletion, or other unanticipated circumstances.
  • Avast Risk Assessment Tool: Your website and network can be scanned for vulnerabilities by the Avast risk assessment tool. Your systems may have weaknesses called vulnerabilities that an attacker may take advantage of. Avast can assist you with this. You can also get advice from the tool on how to reduce such dangers.
  • Avast Password Manager: It can assist you in creating and managing secure passwords, and two-factor authentication can offer an additional layer of security to your accounts.

Conclusion

If you’re thinking about using Avast’s security products for your small or medium-sized business, here’s what you need to do:

  • Research Avast’s Products: Determine which product (or products) best meet your needs by reading the product descriptions, features, and pricing information.
  • Compare Pricing and Licensing Options: Depending on how many people, devices, or endpoints you need to cover, Avast frequently offers several pricing and licensing options.
  • Regular Updates: Be careful to keep your security software up to date and stay informed about Avast’s updates and new features.

For a closer look at the available plans, you can view them here.

Patch today, stay safe tomorrow!

Featured Image Source: Pexels

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About author
Priyanka Dadhich – a content writer, can usually be found reading books. She likes to write about technology, healthcare, travel and fashion. Priyanka loves coffee and listens to music in her free time. She spends her free time with her family.
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