Cybersecurity’ should be high on the agenda for all businesses in 2022. In some small and medium enterprises (SMEs), security can be seen as an afterthought or may not have the resources or skillset in-house. It’s important to protect your business now and in the future.
In the last article How to close the security gap for small and medium-sized enterprises, we talked about the challenges that SMEs face, here prof Sally Eaves shares her top 12 cybersecurity tips to help them and their employees:
Tip #1 – Keep software up to date
DataTraveler Vault Privacy 3.0 with a blue illustration of 2 gears behind it and network lines on a black background
Software providers release updates for a myriad of reasons including enhanced functionality, bug fixes, and security patches. Ensure your software is continually updated to the latest version as and when it becomes available.
Tip #2 – Automate your cybersecurity security compliance
With over 1,000 different laws impacting cybersecurity, privacy, and governance globally today – and growing – this can create a complex challenge. Deploy automation wherever possible to better visualize, manage, measure and ultimately solidify your compliance end to end.
Tip #3 – Outdated hardware, upgrade when needed
There is no need to always follow the latest leading-edge technological innovation, but you must at least keep up to date with your software upgrades. With software developers realizing the risk of software vulnerabilities, they offer periodic updates.
However, these new updates might not be compatible with the hardware of the device. This is what leads to outdated hardware, whereby the hardware isn’t advanced enough to run the latest software versions – avoid creating this risk.
Tip #4 – Keep your data safe, always have a backup plan
Keeping data safe is critical, especially the data that exists locally with your employees. Encrypted USBs can be very effective here, helping ensure that sensitive data can be stored and transferred as securely as possible.
Secure data backups are essential for any small and medium enterprise. Remember, malicious threats and hackers don’t always want to steal your data, but sometimes use ransomware where the end goal is to encrypt or erase it. Data recovery resilience is key.
Tip #5 – Use a VPN
Utilizing a VPN for your internet access protects your private information, even from your ISP. Software VPNs are now widely used today and with very good reason.
Tip #6 – Disable Bluetooth
With so many applications utilizing this connectivity protocol, Bluetooth devices can and do get hacked regularly, and are often linked to phishing messages enticing you to “click here” – don’t do it!
Tip #7 – Don’t click without thinking
Malicious links can do damage in several ways. It is important to train your employees on how to identify such links. Be sure to inspect links and ensure they are from known trusted senders before clicking.
Tip #8 – Secure your mobile device
It’s not just your office (or home) desktop that needs to be secured. It’s important to get into the habit of securing your mobile device as well. Use strong 2 Factor Authentication passwords and biometric features.
Tip #9 – Social engineering
When hackers cannot find a security vulnerability, they’ll attack in other ways. Enter Social Engineering. This type of attack focuses on the mindset and concerns of the user, rather than on the device, to gain access to systems and information.
Delete any request for personal information or passwords. Nobody should be contacting you for your personal information. Always be mindful of risks.
Tip #10 – Have a plan for dealing with breaches
It’s “not an if but when” scenario and with the ever-expanding cybersecurity threat landscape it can be difficult to always stay ahead of malicious attacks that are evolving in sophistication too. Have a plan that deals with “after the fact” breaches and practice/test your response regularly.
Tip #11 – Educate your employees
The people factor is one of the biggest risks in cybersecurity and with social engineering, phishing, and ransomware attacks now a day-to-day occurrence, educate yourself, your family, and your team on the topic of cybersecurity regularly – and stay diligent too! And from SME right through to Enterprise there are fantastic and often free resources available to help you do just that.
Tip #12 – Collaboration is the antithesis of ecosystem fragmentation
We need technology, governance, compliance, legislation, education, and insurance to come together to negate security risks. Explore opportunities to share your knowledge, and best practice suggestions, and “get involved”. Everyone benefits from such a co-creative and open approach to security sharing.
Data breaches, hacking and the human element are continuous reminders of threats and risks worldwide. The costs associated with a data breach and the unfortunate exposures can be significant. It’s important to implement the top tips to help secure your business now and for the future.
Working with the right technology partner to achieve your security goals is key. Kingston Technology is a long-established and trusted leader in the encrypted USB drive space and can offer bespoke support on the benefits and alignment to your business needs. Kingston Technology offers the “Ask an Expert” service to help provide tailored advice on the benefits to your specific storage environment and needs.