In recent years, the dangers of online hacking and cyberattacks have grown exponentially, and today it’s estimated the revenue generated by online crime makes it, by comparison, the world’s third-largest economy, just behind the US and China.
While personal attacks are common, for the seasoned hacker, the real riches lie in attacking companies – and, in particular, Small to Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). Unfortunately, evidence shows that there is a tendency among SME bosses to believe their company is too small or their income too insignificant to be a temptation to cybercriminals where, actually, the complete opposite is true.
With so many SMEs taking such a lax approach to online security, these types of businesses have become easy pickings for online hackers and research shows around 43% of all cyberattacks are aimed at the SME sector. Worse yet, of the SMEs that are hit by a malicious attack, around 60% will go bust within six months of the breach.
Steps to take today to protect your SME firm and its data
With such an overwhelming reliance on the web and tech, industry experts now suggest data could be the world’s most valuable commodity – worth more, even, than gold and oil. If, like most companies, you rely heavily on your data and IT services, below are some sensible steps you could take to protect your firm.
Outsource your IT to a cloud provider: By far the simplest, easiest and most successful way to protect your data and your network is to outsource your digital services to a professional cloud service provider like avepoint.com that will secure your account and give backup protection. For this very reason, cloud provision has, in recent years, become one of the fastest-growing and lucrative sectors in the entire computing and IT industry. If you’re looking for a safe and simple solution to the dangers of operating online, you will not find a better route than partnering with a cloud firm.
Install firewalls and antivirus protection: At a bare minimum, you should make sure you have firewall and antivirus protection on your network – plus also ensure all connected devices have the same.
Beware the dangers of BYOD: While you may take a diligent approach to your firm’s network security, the same might not be true of your staff and how tightly they protect their gadgets. With so many devices now available, there has been a recent tendency for staff to connect to company networks using their own kit – equipment that could very possibly open the door wide open to viruses and malware. This so-called Bring Your Own Device BYOD trend for employees to connect to networks with their own gadgets can bring huge security implications, so for the ultimate protection, you should consider issuing staff with company-verified devices that have been checked and secured by your IT team.
Update software and OSs when prompted: Software developers wage a never-ending battle against hackers intent on exploiting weaknesses in their applications. Consequently, responsible development firms issue patches and updates when potential flaws are weaknesses are found – so you should ensure you update software and Operating Systems (OSs) when prompted to maintain the greatest protection and plug potential backdoors.