Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are often seen as low-hanging fruit by cyber criminals because they often lack the robust cyber security infrastructure of larger enterprises. In fact, according to the 2021 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, 28% of all data breaches involved small businesses. As a business owner, it's essential to take proactive steps to protect your organization against cyber threats.
- Email remains a top attack vector
Despite the rise of other attack vectors such as social engineering and supply chain attacks, email remains the most popular way for hackers to deliver malware to their victims. SMBs need to ensure that their email security measures are up to par, including spam filters, email authentication protocols, and employee training on how to recognize and report phishing attempts.
- Phishing attacks are becoming more sophisticated
Gone are the days of obvious phishing emails filled with misspellings and poor grammar. Today's phishing emails are often well-crafted, personalized, and difficult to detect. SMBs need to stay up-to-date on the latest phishing tactics and educate their employees on how to recognize and report suspicious emails.
- Multi-factor authentication is a must-have
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide two or more forms of identification before granting access to a system or application. SMBs should make sure to enable MFA wherever possible, including for email, cloud services, and other critical systems.
- Endpoint security is critical
Endpoints such as laptops, desktops, and mobile devices are often the first line of defense against cyber attacks. SMBs should ensure that all endpoints are protected by robust security software and that all software and operating systems are kept up to date with the latest security patches.
- Cloud security requires careful consideration
Many SMBs rely on cloud services such as Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, and Amazon Web Services to run their businesses. While these services offer many benefits, they also come with unique security challenges. SMBs should carefully evaluate their cloud security measures, including access controls, data encryption, and disaster recovery plans.
In conclusion, SMBs can no longer afford to overlook the importance of cyber security. By following these best practices and staying informed about the latest threats, SMBs can protect their businesses and customers from cyber attacks. It's not a matter of if you will be targeted by cybercriminals, but when and to what extent. Be prepared, stay vigilant, and stay safe.