You don't need a large budget or an in-house security expert to reduce security risk in your SMB.
Reducing security risks for your organization is one of the biggest and most important tech challenges you face. Every security leader knows that cyber crime is a serious threat. Business leaders must also begin to internalize the gravity of an IT incident. The fallout from breached or compromised data can be devastating.
So, what's a small or midsize business to do? The good news is that you don't need a large budget or an in-house security expert to safeguard your data and operations. You do, however, need awareness and a feasible plan to think like a security pro and mitigate security risk.
Here are 8 ways to think like a security leader.
1. Create a strong culture of security.
A first step should be to implement a company-wide security policy. This policy should outline the security rules your employees must follow as well as your company’s technology use policies. Communicating the policy and gaining employee buy-in is critical to developing a culture of security where everyone knows their responsibilities and does their part. Inform and educate your team. Security affects everyone, and everyone needs to understand the risks and be on board.
2. Verify, secure, and update software
An increased risk of malware is associated with pirated software. It’s a huge business risk and should be avoided. Make sure everyone on your team is using legally downloaded software and updating it regularly.
3. Install antivirus software and build a firewall
Antivirus and anti-malware software should be installed on devices company-wide and updated regularly. A firewall is also essential for minimizing security risk; mobile and remote workers should be protected by one even when out of the office.
4. Promote password protection
Ensure that all passwords are secure, sophisticated, and private. Passwords should be mandatory on all devices and updated every three months. Apps like LastPass or 1Password can facilitate password management. Also, consider using multi-factor authentication for additional security measures.
5. Enforce a strong mobile data policy
With the rise of BYOD and mobile workforces, good security policies need to address mobile data. Define what data is allowed on employee-owned devices, and authenticate all devices before giving them access to your network. Update software and firmware regularly, and require backups to avoid losing data. Finally, establish a remote wipe policy for missing or stolen devices.
6. Secure your servers
Servers and storage are the most important pieces of the security puzzle. Not only are your core data assets at risk, but outside attacks can wreak havoc on servers and storage units, resulting in downtime, network bottlenecking, or crashed web applications and hard disks. Make sure your servers and storage are safeguarded with comprehensive data protection and security. Encrypt all data, and schedule regular automatic backups to reduce data loss in a potential crisis.
7. Monitor network access
Networks face numerous security threats. Controlled and monitored access is crucial to protecting against stolen passwords, software flaws, malware, and rogue devices. On-site Wi-Fi should always be encrypted and hidden from intruders.
To maintain external security, every employee needs public Wi-Fi education, since unsecured connections expose your team to transmission interceptions, snooping, and malware. Additional layers of encryption should be used on public networks, and a VPN should be used when connecting to company data. Sharing features should be turned off, and SSL connections should always be used. When not connected, all employees should turn their devices’ Wi-Fi network connections off.
8. Manage, monitor, and consult
Even if you don’t have a dedicated security specialist on staff, you should appoint someone to oversee general security operations. They can help you stay up to date and enforce proper communications and procedures. Hold meetings and conduct regular reviews of your policy, making updates if necessary. Seek outside consultation to advise on and implement standards as well as to help you devise a disaster recovery plan.
Prevention, Not Recovery
As most security experts will tell you, it's important to expect the unexpected and prepare accordingly. Plan for the least likely event because it's the one most likely to hit you and hurt your organization. The focus of security thinking is not recovery - it's prevention.
As a full suite IT and cybersecurity firm, Restech can help with your business technology and security needs. Contact us to learn more.
Source: Hewlett Packard Enterprise