Strengthening Cybersecurity for a Small Business

How strong is your cybersecurity posture? If you got hit with ransomware tomorrow, how long would it take for you to resume operations? Would a regulatory fine for a data breach threaten to put you out of business?

Cybersecurity posture

If you’re not 100% certain a cyberattack would only be a minor inconvenience to your operations, your security posture could use an upgrade. Here’s what you can do to protect your company from the negative impact of preventable incidents.

1. Keep all worker devices updated

It’s critical to keep all devices updated that connect to your company network. It doesn’t matter if the item is an iPod, iPad, Android tablet, smartphone, Windows laptop, Macbook, or any desktop computer.

Every single device that has access to your network must be running the latest operating system and applications. Every one should also have antivirus software installed.

This is something cybersecurity for fleet maintenance teams pay close attention to because they are constantly connected while working on the floor. If you own the devices your team uses, manage the settings to ensure that all applications get updated automatically.

If you don’t own them, make it explicitly clear in your company policies that employees are required to update their own devices regularly. This can be a tall order for staff who use older computers that aren’t programmed to update automatically.

However, this is not something you can afford to neglect, so make sure those manual upgrades are happening or require your team to use newer devices.

Cyber criminals know exactly how to find outdated software that’s running a version which has known vulnerabilities. The only way to avoid becoming a target is to keep everything up to date and patched whenever a new release occurs.

2. Employ penetration and vulnerability testing

When was the last time you identified a security vulnerability? If you don’t know, or the answer is never, then you’re overdue for vulnerability testing.

Given the fact of thousands of potential threats, some completely unknown, it’s impossible to predict when your firm might get hit. But you can employ vulnerability testing to identify the holes in your cybersecurity posture on an ongoing basis and fix them swiftly.

The longer you leave a vulnerability unaddressed, the more likely it will get exploited. Vulnerability testing will help you identify the weaknesses and flaws in your network, computer systems, applications, and any other digital system you run.

During these tests, scans will run automatically to review code, analyze configurations, spot weak passwords, insecure network protocols, and other potential openings for invaders. In addition to identifying problems, the system will also provide recommendations for remediation.

Penetration testing is a little different; it’s more intensive. It involves active testing to see how far someone can get into your network and what kind of damage they could do once inside.

The pen tester won’t actually cause any harm, but will make a note of whatever appeared to be accessible and how the tester got inside. He or she might even run some phishing schemes on your employees to see who takes the bait.

3. Create a strong cybersecurity policy (and enforce it)

You need a strong cybersecurity policy for your company and it must be enforced to the letter. If you allow people to transgress policy without consequence, that will encourage others to become careless.

Not everything has to be a fireable offense, but gross misconduct is obviously a different story. If someone makes an honest mistake that leads to a security incident, that’s different from someone who willingly shares their login credentials with a coworker against company policy.

Both should have consequences, but most companies deem the latter a fireable offense.

4. Implement education and ongoing training

Since about 80% of all cyberattacks happen because of human error, it stands to reason that you need a well-trained, highly educated workforce with regard to cybersecurity.

The biggest threat to your company’s data security isn’t apt to be gang of hackers hunched over laptops in a dark basement trying to crack your passwords. Your company is most at risk when employees lose a device, misconfigure a database, employ a weak password, fall for a phishing scheme, or log onto public WiFi without using a VPN.

Education and training should prevent many of these types of incidents. Cover everything in your security training, even if it seems small.

For instance, never assume that all your team members can spot a phishing scheme. It might be obvious to you, but not everyone will be that aware. Some social engineering techniques come off as legitimate and even intelligent workers fall for them.

Strong cybersecurity keeps you in business

One cyberattack can greatly damage your company through data loss, too much downtime, or bankrupting you through regulatory fines. Start beefing up your security posture right away to ensure this doesn’t happen to you.


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