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How to Strengthen Cyber Defense For Your Small Business

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Written by: lance86 | April 4th, 2017 | No Comments

Hacker in front of his computer
How to Strengthen Cyber Defense For Your Small Business

When operating a small business, cyber defense is no joke. But how exactly can you protect your business from potential attacks? Continue reading to learn how.

Do you have a strong cyber defense plan for your small business?

If not, then check this out:

43% of all cyber attacks are actually targeting small business, yet only 14% of small businesses rate their ability to mitigate cyber risks, vulnerabilities, and attacks as highly effective. 

What does that mean?

There are too many small businesses out there today who are extremely vulnerable to cyber attacks. Meaning, you, your employees, and your customers are all at risk if you don’t have a great plan in place. 

Use our guide below to learn how you can strengthen cyber defense for your small business, and protect yourself, unlike the other small businesses who could easily fall prey today. 

1. Understand the Risks

In order to strengthen cyber defense for your small business, you must first understand the evolving risks and were potential attacks can come from. 

Increasing your knowledge and understanding of vulnerabilities is the first step in creating a great policy for your business. Make sure you thoroughly understand how:

  • Your business can be affected
  • How hackers can gain entry
  • Specific methods and motives behind attacks
  • Points of weakness

Also, knowing exactly what types of cyber attacks your business needs to avoid can make a huge difference. These include:

Malware

Malware is pretty much code that is intended to steal data or destroy something, like Trojans, viruses, and worms. 

Phishing

Phishing attacks often come from the email, as a request for data from a trusted third party. Similar to spam, but much more harmful.

Password Attacks

Password attacks occur when a third party is trying to gain access to your systems by cracking a password for one of your employees.

Denial-of-Service Attacks

A DOS attack occurs when the network becomes overloaded from high volumes of data so that it can no longer function due to the disruption.

Man in the Middle

This MITM attack obtains information from the end user and the person on the other end being communicated with, likely from some exchange over the internet.

2. Develop a Security Policy

Once you have a complete understanding, you will be able to create a security policy for your small business. 

In order to have an effective policy, it must be considered in every process and every decision. The whole mentality of your business depends on the type of strategy that is in place. 

That includes making sure that each employee is aware of how to operate, as they are the first line of defense against any form of takeover. Make sure that complex passwords are in place and personal information is never exposed.

3. Use the Phone

To help protect your small business, consider verifying any financial requests and details by phone instead of relying on the Internet and your email. This includes transactions with your bank, vendors, clients, and employees.

This type of verification process will add another layer of security to your outgoing funds and definitely help protect you from a loss.

4. Keep Software Up to Date

When strengthening your cyber defense, make sure that your anti-virus software and other security applications are completely up to date. This ensures that you are always protected against the latest threats and that your system is secure.  

5. Practice Your Incident Response Plan

Another security principle that you should always follow through with is the practice of your incident response plan for your small business.

Get this: 60% of small businesses will go out of business within 6 months of a cyber attack.

Having a plan of action for responding to a cyber attack is vital for security, but it is even more important that your employees know what to do in case something does happen.  

6. Purchase Cybersecurity Insurance

Beyond creating security plans for your small business, you should also consider cybersecurity insurance in your plan of attack for cyber defense. 

Though this an often overlooked option, it can make a vast difference in case something happens. 

A general policy or response plan can’t help your small business recoup losses or legal fees associated with breaches, so you pick something that can.

Plus, with many insurance carriers carrying coverage for smaller companies, you will have the pick of your options. Make sure you look for a combination of first and third party coverage so you’ll have protection in regard to:

  • General costs – legal expertise, public relations campaigns, etc
  • Defense costs – depending on which information was exposed

7. Educate Your Employees

Again, it can not be stressed enough that your employees need to be thoroughly educated to help protect your small business. 

Make sure your employees are educated on:

  • How cybercriminals can infiltrate your systems
  • Signs of breaches 
  • How to stay safe when using the company network 

8. Speak with an Expert

Last but not least, your last strategic tip for cyber defense is to speak with an expert when formulating a plan for your small business. 

Though paying for an IT security consultant can seem extravagant, it can truly make all the difference. They can take a look at your business and determine the best course of action to uniquely protect your business from attacks. 

They can also identify areas where your business is vulnerable, then make recommendations based on that. Therefore, if you have the budget, make sure you speak with an expert to make the best plan of attack

Protect Yourself from Cyber Defense Today

If you need help with cyber defense for your small business, then contact Indigo Cyber today. 

We are an information security consultancy, with a proven history of world class service and support for residential and SMB clients. 

We are partnered with some of the best IT security companies out there, putting us on the edge of infosec and threat intelligence. No matter your budget, we can offer enterprise-grade protection. 

As threats continue to increase in volume and complexity, let our experienced consultants assist with the protection of your hard work and privacy. Let us help you formulate a plan to keep you protected from cyber threats, at all times. 

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