Although cybercriminals target companies of all sizes, SMBs are more vulnerable because they don’t have the resources for expensive data security measures. However there are steps that small and medium businesses (SMBs) can take to reduce the risks. Once a company learns which common security mistakes to avoid, an SMB is in a much better position to protect its digital assets and survive a cyberattack.
Common Mistakes SMBs Make When Securing Digital Assets
1. Using Outdated Legacy Software
It’s understandable that SMBs want to save money by using legacy software. However, it’s better to upgrade to the latest versions or try new applications. Updated software often has advanced security features. Also, older versions are easier to hack and pose far greater risks to your company.
2. Not Educating Your Employees about Security Measures
To maintain strong defenses, employees must learn best practices for computer usage and safety. Threats such a phishing emails can be prevented with proper education. By creating and implementing security protocols, and then training your employees on how to use them, you lower the risks of security mistakes. Security training must be ongoing to keep employees up-to-date on any changes to the policies.
3. Not Considering Internal Threats
Some cyber incidents are inside jobs. While most threats to your business are external, you can also have employees who steal data or equipment. By doing background checks on all potential new hires, developing protocols to detect internal threats, and logging employees’ online activities, your company is better protected.
4. Not Using Passwords Properly
Without strong passwords, it’s easier for hackers to access your digital assets. Using passwords whenever possible limits threats, but only if employees create strong passwords. Best practices include change passwords periodically and not reusing old passwords. Employees should never share accounts or share passwords with others.
5. Not Limiting Access to Sensitive Data
A good access policy helps with both external and internal threats by blocking or restricting access to sensitive data. By limiting privileges, you ensure that only owners or C-level executives have admin access to all company data. Every employee should only have access to applications and data that is related to their job functions.
6. Not Creating a Business Continuity Plan
Preparation is essential for securing digital assets. A business continuity plan prepares your company for all potential threats including ransomware, theft, hardware failure, natural disasters, pandemics, and cyberattacks. The comprehensive plan should include policies for data and system backups, storage, and disaster recovery. The plan is a necessary strategy for business continuity.
7. Not Using Cyber Security Experts
Most SMBs aren’t in the cyber security industry, so they need an IT expert such as a managed service provider (MSP). An MSP offers 24/7 data security strategies and automation to protect all digital assets from a variety of threats.
Damaging cyberattacks on SMBs can result in lost revenue and lost clients or customers. By avoiding common SMB security mistakes, you greatly improve your chances of surviving data breaches. With a host of security measures in place, you can safeguard your company’s digital assets.
RingStor is a data management company that helps companies protect their digital assets. To learn more about our many services, send us an email or call (609) 955-3422.today.