The problem with small business or large is that they face the same type of issues when it comes to online database, digital transactions and personal data that flows inside and outside the organization’s network.
If we strictly talk about small businesses, for them it proves difficult maneuvering around the difficulties of cyber security as the budget is limited of fighting back gets a lot more difficult. Well for this reason we are here to help you fight back even if it looks difficult looking at the resources of small business.
To proceed further we need to understand why a cyber-criminal would target us as a small business? Well, in actuality it does not matter whether you are a big or small business there is always something or the other that can be targeted. All businesses have data, bandwidth and processing power, therefore all of this can be used to commit extortion, theft or manipulation of assets that can hurt any entity severely.
Businesses database carries credentials, has bank accounts, and this means that they are constantly fished for information, if there are any exploitable vulnerability it will be exploited further to gain malicious benefit. The scale of damage is absolutely massive and the tools always changing.
It is reported that McAfee also has over seven hundred and thirty four million known pieces of malware in their database. It is really a thing to imagine how vulnerable we are online as cybercrime is known to be the fifth biggest threat that mankind belonging from any part of the world faces every day.
So, even with 99.99% effective blocking there is still a chance for 73,000 pieces of different Malware you are not protected against.
Facebook alone removed over 583 million fake profiles and Twitter has suspended over 70 million accounts just in the first quarter of 2019. So, it’s a vicious circle, once criminals have unauthorized use of our assets they can either extort us with ransom ware, trick us into paying them without even knowing it.
So, what can we do? Here are some important ways in which you can be one step ahead in protecting your network from cybercriminals.
Reduce Unnecessary Exposure:
The less we have to be attacked the less of a problem for any network. One of the easiest ways is to immediately setup a Wi-Fi network for your staff that is not connected to the main network of the company. Educating employees and getting them to do as much as possible on their own devices reduces unnecessary exposure to the internal network.
If every machine you have at your workspace contains Java or Silverlight then you have to ask yourself the question if you actually need it and if you do need it how much you need it. The point being any party software or operating system being used in the workplace has to be evaluated for network vulnerabilities and weaknesses.
As a small business you can always make things someone else’s problem for instance one can move their email exchange to Office 365 or Google. One can hire cloud services like Microsoft Azure, put license in Adobe and be a part of Creative Cloud so you don’t have to worry. There are similar things that can be done that makes your online security a problem for people having experience and specialty in providing cyber security.
Key Generator Utility and Similar Software:
The temptation to use illegal software especially if you are asked to purchase a license for 500 pounds can be huge and software for designing and drawing purposes is the heart of any mobile game app development business. So, small utilities like key generators always have potential viruses that can eat the network from the inside.
There is no point stealing and having illegal copies of Photoshop because now it costs around just 10 pounds a month to be on a photography plan. It is not worth all the risks.
Account for All Old Hardware and Devices:
Old computers and other hardware is another issue, so make sure you have got rid of them because there if anything that is around eight years or old is just no longer updated. This for one can give you potential hardware problems and when you do plug old hardware in there are possibly years and years of updates which can slow some process down.
These updates when skipped by someone can leave your business exposed as the hardware would not be protected by the prevalent security measures of the time.
The same can be said for your old routers, if your router is more than three years old then probably criminals have figured out a way to make it a vulnerability. It is advisable to know your hardware requirements and invest in the latest solutions possible.
Check Your Information:
We need to assess and have a look at how much information we are giving away on mass platforms like Facebook and other social media networks that could be used maliciously in the wrong hands.
If you are giving details about where you have been, what have you been doing? It can be used for targeted phishing attacks, targeted SEO frauds because this is a way for criminals to have snippets of information like emails and other personal information have legitimate windows into your network.
Top of the Line Antivirus:
A lot of people fail to understand the magnanimity of the situation if your antivirus fails you at some point. And also there is a misconception about the difference between a basic and a specialized antivirus solution.
Many of us believe that when there is already an antivirus included in the operating system why are there so many antivirus service providers operating. The thing is software like Windows Defender provides a basic solution and the people at McAfee or Norton have spent millions of hours studying the latest threats.
Now the difference is that an entity built for the sole purpose of providing internet and data security would be better equipped and updated to deal with the current capabilities and types of attacks that take place.
So yes, while your operating system dose come with some basic antivirus, but it’s just that “basic”. It’s definitely worth paying for some premium antivirus. When you are in the process of choosing an antivirus there are is an arena of options that you can play with.
There is price, usability, customer support, cloud-based, have to research every aspect of your requirement and opt for the one that suites your needs the most. Even if you opt for a service you can always try a 30-day trial before making the purchase.
Make use of VPNs:
It’s also an important part of your protection is to protect your data with a VPN. This is important if you have employees working in remote sites away from the main network. When protected by a VPN one can filter the traffic connected through the main network and monitor the connections at the same time.
Why do we need patch management when Windows can update itself anyway? The answer to that is yes, it does but all the other software around it may not. Therefore a patch management system gives one the overview and status of the incoming updates.
The patch manager can also push out the updates, patch managers are also good at sifting out the type and kind of software being used on a system.
So, if there is something that you cannot recognize patch managers can tell you the details of the installed software. In addition to this, patch also provide the user with actions or rules that they can set for any software or application present on the network.
This way patch managers do not only come handy when rolling out updates but can also perform whole software audits if set up the right way.
This is where most of the nastiest come in. There are only two types of emails one is genuine and the other bogus. So the bogus ones have to be spoofed, your employees can be fooled as the display name might say something else but the email can be sourced from somewhere entirely different. These are some of the reasons emails should be filtered.
The internet is out there to fool you the best way it can, there are lookalike domains someone can step into accidently. Through emails criminals are out to get authentic credentials to extort you further, attach malicious software that when accessed can compromise information or halt whole operations resulting in heavy losses and stoppages.
So, there are some practice things that can be done immediately, we can start off by blocking file types that the business does not use regularly. All of these file types can be listed into the email filtering and be quarantined for further action before someone accesses it or sends it.
So, if there is no reason don’t allow access to files and software that can make your business vulnerable.
Steven Clark is an highly skilled and experienced software outsourcing USA and Mobile App Design Company and Custom ios application development company manager at CMOLDS. He has wide experience in IT industries to develop creative business system based on Java, .Net, Python, iOS, Android, Magneto.