Data Security – A Guide on Cyber Security for SMEs

In 2017, 46% of businesses identified at least one cyber-attack or IT security breach. This percentage goes up to 66% for medium businesses. No business, whether small or large, can afford to ignore cyber security especially when these statistics are taken into consideration. However, despite the numbers, a recent survey found that majority of the SMEs don’t believe they are at risk, with 59% thinking that their business wouldn’t be at the target for cyber criminals.

This idea generates the tendency for SMEs to be less prepared for security breaches, compared to large organisations thus turn them into more vulnerable and easier targets. But how are SMEs being hacked and what kind of precautions can they take to strengthen their defenses?

How are SMEs Being Hacked?

The three most common ways SMEs are hacked are by poor passwords, phishing and IT vulnerabilities.

The poorer a password is, the is easier it is to guess and used for multiple platforms and thus the easier to hack. Passwords should be one of a kind and complex, and they should never be shared with anyone.
Phishing is a cybercrime in which a target is contacted by someone posing as a legitimate institution to lure individuals into providing sensitive and personal data.

IT vulnerabilities are an outcome of a network not having the proper security measures in place for protecting data. These vulnerabilities can be very dangerous and lead to serious IT attacks.

Precautions to Strengthen Your Defenses

The first thing to keep in mind is that it’s not just about having an anti-virus program installed to your business computers. There are numerous ransomware programs which do not publicly reported before becoming active, therefore a patch can’t be issued and the anti-virus programs can’t protect your business for that reason.
You need a multi-sided defense system built in. Combining numerous of measures makes your protection a lot more powerful.

The following 5 precautions would be helpful for businesses to have a better protected IT infrastructure:

  1. Install and actively manage anti-virus software
  2. Make sure security patches are always kept up-to-date
  3. Implement a thorough backup and disaster recovery solution
  4. Set strong passwords and allocate user access strategically
  5. Educate your employees to follow cyber security procedures.

Being proactive is the best strategy to maximize the security level of your environment. The mentioned processes should be automated and managed on an ongoing basis. MapX Systems can do this for you and help you have a well-protected IT environment for your business. Contact us today to have a free consultation.

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