It’s challenging to be across the ever-evolving cyber security landscape when you’re a small business with time and resource constraints. This makes it even more challenging to get clear on what kinds of measures and systems you need to have in place to help minimise potential cyber security threats.
Even so, making sure you have a cyber security plan in place is one of the best ways to help protect your team, customers and your business. Luckily, having an awareness of the importance of cyber security measures is the first step toward better understanding the cyber security landscape.
4 cyber security risks to manage
Let’s uncover the cyber threats your small business needs to have awareness of, to help you stay informed as well as gain a better understanding of what you can do to safeguard your business.
1. Phishing scams
Have you ever heard about someone receiving an email or text that they thought was legitimate but was actually from a person pretending to be someone they knew? This is a phishing scam, and is one of the most frequent types of cyber security threats. Phishing scams are popular with cyber criminals, as it’s easier to trick someone into clicking on a malicious link than it is to break through a computer’s defences. Luckily, they are also straightforward to prevent.
What you can do to protect against phishing scams:
- If you think a message or text might be from a trusted organisation (such as your bank or a supplier), use an official contact method you can trust.
- Search for the official website or phone number. Don’t use links or contact details in the message you have been sent in case they are fraudulent.
- Ensure your staff is aware of this cyber security threat, so they can identify and prevent phishing attempts.
2. Ransomwear infections
Ransomware is malicious software that prevents access to computer systems or files unless a sum of money (a ransom) is paid. It basically turns the power of encryption (designed to protect your files) against you by taking your files hostage. This means you might get locked out of important documents, spreadsheets, photos and videos, and other sensitive files. Plus, an infected PC can spread the ransomware to other devices on your network.
What you can do to protect against ransomwear:
- Frequently backup sensitive and important data.
- Turn on automatic updates for your operating systems, software and apps.
- Use multi-factor authentication when you can.
- Secure devices (including servers) and any internet-exposed services on your network.
3. Personal laptops, tablets and smartphones
If your team uses personal devices like laptops, tablets, and smartphones to access company information and applications, it’s important to have protections in place. While it’s convenient, this influx of personal devices brings an increased risk of viruses, hacks, and data leaks. In fact, each device that can access company information is an additional endpoint that cyber criminals can try to breach.
What you can do to protect personal devices:
- Control access privileges to company data.
- Delete company data and remove access from a device when a staff member leaves.
- Invest in endpoint and mobile protection.
4. Sensitive information
Data and the devices that data is on, is now constantly in motion and on the move. Laptops can be stolen, tablets get lost, and phones are sometimes left in taxis and planes. Whenever those items go missing, the business data on them is at risk – whether it be confidential business data or customer information.
What you can do to protect your sensitive data
- Put in place access controls for digital files and folders.
- Make sure passwords are not shared between team members.
- Remove access, delete accounts and/or change passwords when an employee exits the company, or if you change providers.
Better protect your business from cyber security breaches
When you’re busy taking care of business, handling IT needs for a small business can fall by the wayside amid all the other responsibilities. Fortunately, there are comprehensive cyber security solutions available that, once implemented, can help to reduce the likelihood and impact of some of these common cyber security threats.
When you’ve got your security handled, you’ll have additional time to focus on growth, innovation, and to find more ways of creating value for your clients.
Ready to get your cyber security handled?
Ready to find out if your small business has the required measures in place to manage the current cyber security landscape? Register today for a complimentary cyber security audit and let’s get started. Together we will review your IT infrastructure, access any key threats or vulnerabilities, and recommend implementing strategies and solutions that can significantly reduce your risk of compromise.
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