80% of organizations have seen an increase in email phishing attacks since remote working began.
The massive shift to remote and hybrid work environments didn't just open up new flexibilities for where employees spend their workday. It initiated an open season for cybercriminals. Security teams today face an uphill battle as the attack surface has increased.
According to Gitnux, an online resource for business technology trends:
- 72% of CISOs reported an increase in cyber threats since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic,
- 63% of businesses have experienced a data breach due to employees working remotely, and
- 80% of organizations have seen an increase in email phishing attacks since remote working began.
No business — big or small — is safe. Small and medium businesses (SMBs) seemingly have a target on their backs, be it negligence, lack of resources, or the unfounded belief that only enterprise-level businesses are at risk. But they DO have resources available. Small businesses can draw insight and best practices from a trusted advisor in managed service providers, who can ultimately help protect them in the fight against cybercrime.
Here are 9 cybersecurity action items you should consider to help your business boost resilience against mounting cyber attacks:
1. Conduct a security risk assessment.
Understand the most critical threats to your business, like system failures, natural disasters as well as malicious human actions, and determine the impact they may have on your company.
2. Train your employees.
Conduct employee awareness training across your entire workforce to educate users on common scams and phishing techniques. Also, because cybersecurity threats are constantly evolving, make sure your training curriculum is relevant and updated frequently.
3. Use multiple layers of protection.
Implement a password policy that requires strong passwords and monitor your employee accounts for breach intel through technologies to ensure your network and endpoints are not vulnerable to attacks. Consider mandatory multifactor authentication, ongoing network monitoring, and hard drive encryption.
4. Keep software up to date.
Unpatched or out-of-date software will allow some kind of threat to breach your security. Cybercriminals exploit software vulnerabilities using a variety of tactics to gain access to computers and data. Managed service providers (MSPs) can automate this for businesses just like yours, with a remote monitoring and management tool. Don’t forget to keep your mobile phones up to date as well.
5. Create straightforward cybersecurity policies.
Write and distribute a clear set of rules and instructions on cybersecurity practices for employees. This will vary from business to business but may include policies on social media use, bringing your own device (BYOD), authentication requirements, and more.
6. Back up your data.
Daily (or more frequent) backups are a requirement to recover from data corruption or loss resulting from security breaches. Consider using a data protection tool with your MSPs help that takes incremental backups of data periodically throughout the day to prevent data loss.
7. Enable uptime.
Choose a powerful data protection solution that enables “instant recovery” of data and applications. In fact, 92% of MSPs report that clients with business continuity disaster recovery (BCDR) products in place are less likely to experience significant downtime from ransomware and are back up and running quickly. Application downtime can significantly impact a business’s ability to generate revenue.
8. Know where your data resides.
The more places data exists, the more likely it is that unauthorized individuals will be able to access it. Use data discovery tools to find and appropriately secure data along with business-class Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications that allow for corporate control of data.
9. Control access to computers.
Each access point poses an individual risk, so limited employee access to specific data they need to perform their jobs. Plus, administrative privileges should only be given to trusted staff.
Need a little help?
By teaming up with a proven managed service provider, you can ease your worries about cybersecurity. Collaborating with an MSP will grant you the opportunity to receive expert guidance on the necessary technologies to safeguard your organization against cybercrime. To gain further insight into our offered services, reach out to learn about our signature TechCare Managed IT Services engagement!