network security

Why network security matters to your SMB

Network security is essential for any business as protecting your data is critical, no matter the size of your company. While most SMBs are aware of threats, they probably don’t realize how susceptible they are. A Verizon report found that 58% of malware attacks happen to small businesses. These and other cybersecurity attacks are on the rise as cybercriminals become more sophisticated. Thus, it’s vital for every SMB to take network security seriously and protect their assets.

If you are the target of a cyberattack, it can cost you. A report by Cisco found that 29% of midmarket companies that suffered a breach endured costs of $100,000 or less, while 20% say it cost $1,000,000 or more.

Looking at cybersecurity can often be overwhelming for SMBs. You probably have a lean IT staff and may be restricted by budget, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t solutions that fit your needs and are cost-effective. Let’s explore these threats and what to do to prevent them.

Threats are more sophisticated

Since the majority of cyber threats are targeted at SMBs, you can expect that these will become increasingly more sophisticated. While you probably are very aware of malware and phishing, new threats are on the horizon. There are attack loops that lodge in a backup and are initiated when a company tries to restore data after a breach.

Cryptojacking is another new risk wherein criminals use power from a victim’s computers to mine for cryptocurrency. Become aware of these dangers and work to secure your data.

Phishing gets more personal

Phishing has been around for some time, but now cybercriminals are using social engineering to trick users. A cybercriminal may review a person’s social media history and learn that the person just traveled or attended an event. Then he may set up a phishing email associated with this, making it more likely that the recipient will click. Educate and train all your employees on phishing and be sure they preview a link before clicking.

Fileless attacks will rise

While traditional attacks can work when someone clicks a link, a new generation of fileless attacks are now on the rise. A fileless attack leverages an application or operating system to understand its vulnerabilities. Most of the time these weaknesses are associated with not installing an update or patch. These are more difficult to detect but you can monitor for them. Most importantly, make those updates. Keeping your network updated puts a lot on your plate; consider managed IT services for support.

What SMBs should do to enhance protection

The threats are real and evolving, but you can make a stand against cybercriminals. The best practices any SMB can undertake in the fight against cyberattacks are:

  • Educate your employees: Develop specific, regular training on cybersecurity best practices and what they should look for to avoid a breach.
  • Have a security policy: Craft a thorough policy that addresses your company’s security protocols and how they conform to any industry regulations, then share it with your employees.
  • Consider that anything with a hard drive is hackable: It’s not just computers that can be hacked, your digital copiers could be breached or any other device on the network.
  • Security is always evolving: Stay up-to-date and in the know on cybersecurity; a good resource is the National Cyber Security Alliance.
  • Keep your network up-to-date and managed: Your network needs attention every day; you can’t just leave it be, as there are updates, patches, and other functions that need to be maintained.

As an SMB, you may need to look outside your organization to find the support you need to adhere to best practices and avoid threats. Find an IT support partner that understands your needs and has the experience and expertise to keep your network safe.

Learn more about how to navigate this and find help in the Tech2Bit Complete Guide to SMB IT Support.