Cybersecurity Challenges Small Businesses Face and How to Address Them

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Cybersecurity Challenges Small Businesses Face and How to Address Them

Many businesses share similar IT and cybersecurity challenges. Because small businesses face unique challenges that make them more susceptible to hacks, attacks, and breaches, cybersecurity must be part of every small business's technology plan. Small business IT teams need to learn how to mitigate their security risks to protect the long-term health of their organizations. That starts with knowing the threats you face, and culminates in implementing a multilayered security plan strong enough to thwart even the strongest attacks.

Here are some of the main reasons small businesses are more susceptible to security threats.

Security budget shortfall:

The root of most SMB security issues is a lack of money. Few small businesses can afford the average cost of a data breach, which can be up to over $100,000.

No dedicated security staff:

Related to being short on funds, small businesses don't always have dedicated security professionals on staff. Fifty-two percent of SMBs don't have committeed cybersecurity personnel, according to TechRepublic. This often means that security duties are, at best, shared by multiple people, or at worst, ignored. A piecemeal approach to security often leaves vulnerabilities undetected.

Little to no employee training:

To hackers, employees are the weakest links in a company and the easiest to exploit. Especially in a small business that lacks an IT team, staff might not know how to recognize a phishing or social engineering attack. They might not understand the importance of protecting their devices. Compounding matters, hackers have become far more sophisticated in their attacks. With their operations now resembling organized crime syndicates, even trained employees sometimes find it hard to identify a hacking attempt.

The Importance of Multilayered Security for Small Businesses

Businesses of all sizes need to set up multilayered protections that keep authorized staff in and unauthorized people out. No single solution will work for every business, but successful plans follow a common path.

A good strategy for multilayered security is to start from the outside, or edge of your network and work in. Safeguarding the edge of your network includes protecting your internet gateway and local area connections through routers, setting up network permissions, and setting up whitelisted and blacklisted sites. These lists prevent visits to unauthorized websites.

The next layer to tackle is endpoint security. Installing antivirus, malware, and anti-spyware programs on company devices protects both company users and assets. Bolstering endpoint security can also involve setting password standards and teaching employees how to identify common attacks, such as phishing and ransomware.

Finally, protect your hardware and software by keeping on top of installations of the latest patches and updates. Hackers keep track of security vulnerabilities for easy inroads into a company. Applying the most current patches is a reliable way to prevent attacks.

Ways to Keep Your Business Secure

Once you have a multilayered security strategy in place, it's time to consider specific solutions. When evaluating your options, don't forget to account for the security of your server hardware. Having servers that are secure by design will make the rest of your security efforts much easier.

Knowing your business's vulnerabilities, creating a multilayered plan, and relying on secure products and services are all vital steps to safeguarding IT security for your small business.

As a full suite IT and cybersecurity firm, Restech can help with your technology and security needs. Contact us to learn more.

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Source: Hewlett Packard Enterprise

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