Managed IT Solutions

Effective Cybersecurity Strategies for Small Businesses

SMBs are prime targets for cyber criminals. Learn how you can protect your organization with effective small business cyber security practices.

Contact TTR Technology and safeguard your data and business.

Cybercriminals Love Small Businesses

Small and medium-sized businesses are the economic backbone of our country. The U.S. Small Business Administration says 99.7% of American employer firms are small businesses — a testament to their importance

But despite their essential role, they face serious challenges that larger companies don’t have to deal with. Cyber security is one area where SMBs struggle.

In fact, SMBs are prime cyber attack targets. Not only are they economically important, there are several reasons cybercriminals absolutely love small companies:

  • They possess sensitive data that criminals can easily exploit.
  • SMBs often don’t have high-grade security systems.
  • There’s less chance that the cyber attack is detected.
  • Criminals can access the business network of a large corporation through SMB partners.

The root cause for small business owners’ vulnerability to cyber attacks is simple — money. Small businesses usually operate on limited budgets, and they may not have the resources to employ in-house IT experts and cybersecurity best practices.

As a result, most SMBs experience constant cyber threats. Luckily, there are ways for small business owners to protect sensitive data, their employees, clients, and business continuity. They just aren’t aware of them.

Let’s look at strategies SMBs can use to improve their security infrastructure.

The Impact of a Security Breach

Before we get to the strategies, it’s essential for you, as a small business owner, to understand why you need to employ them. The impact of a cyber attack can be devastating, or even unrecoverable for SMBs.

The primary bounty that cybercriminals are after is sensitive information. When a shady actor exploits unpatched vulnerabilities, they are most likely after critical data. Such data can include:

  • Banking and credit card information
  • Client lists
  • Proprietary product designs
  • Business plans
  • Workflows and manufacturing processes

Any of this information is either useful to criminals as is or they can sell it forward to unscrupulous competitors. It should be clear that loss of this information can result in severe consequences to your business.

First of all, you’ll lose money from disrupted business operations and from preventing further attacks on your computer network. You may also lose your reputation in the eyes of your clients when you tell them their data has been compromised. Data breaches may also open the door to litigation against your business.

Many SMBs will never recover from such a blow. In fact, government data shows 60% of small businesses go out of business within only six months of a cyber attack.

Faced with these potentially business-destroying consequences, it’s vital that small businesses utilize the latest advanced security technologies to protect their entire system.

Threats Targeting Small Businesses

To implement effective cybersecurity practices, you must also know what you’re protecting yourself from. Cyber threats came in many different forms, and while it would be impossible to list all of them, it’s good to be aware of the most common types of threats.

Practically all cyber attacks include some form of social engineering. In essence, it's a tactic cybercriminals use to manipulate their targets to leak confidential information, or to direct them to a malicious website.

These kinds of attacks don't necessarily even come through internet-facing systems. Criminals could call or text you or your employees, posing as a legitimate organization, in an attempt to get what they want.

Malware attacks are the second most common strategy criminals use. Malware (short for malicious software) covers a wide range of harmful software, including viruses and ransomware.

Viruses could bypass your security features and give criminals access to your system. Ransomware typically locks up your operating system, data, or entire network until you pay the criminal what they're asking for. Of course, they often don't bother to unlock your system even if you pay them.

Phishing is a specific type of social engineering that uses emails or shady websites to collect data or inject your computer with malicious code. Criminals often disguise their emails as important messages from real-life organizations, like banks or government agencies.

The rise of cloud computing has made small businesses particularly vulnerable to phishing. When all your data is stored in the cloud, the criminals need only one password to access all of it.

Unfortunately, cyber threats can also stem from within your organization. Whether through human error or active malicious intent, current and ex-employees or business partners could leak confidential data.

This issue could also stem from lacking cybersecurity resources or practices within your company. Studies show 62% of employees report having access to data they probably shouldn't have.

Many cybercriminals exploit existing holes in your system or network security. Without proper cybersecurity, all computers and other connected devices could give cybercriminals access to your system. Some of the most common infrastructural vulnerabilities include:

  • Injection vulnerabilities
  • Endpoint vulnerabilities
  • Credential management vulnerabilities

Cyber Threat Mitigation Strategies for Small Businesses

With so many cyber threats facing small businesses, the situation might seem hopeless. But there are many simple strategies you can use to shore up your defenses.

  1. Train employees: When your employees know what to look out for, they’re less likely to fall for scams or introduce risks. Invest in cybersecurity training and foster a culture of security in your small business.
  2. Stay updated: Using out-of-date software is like leaving your front door unlocked. Ensure you’re always running the latest versions of your business tools.
  3. Use antivirus software: An antivirus program alone won’t save you, but it’s an important part of cybersecurity. Install antivirus on all your devices and make sure it’s updated.
  4. Enforce password policies: Have your employees regularly change their passwords, and enforce the use of multi-factor authentication. Draft a clear policy on when and how your employees are allowed to exchange password info.
  5. Do regular data backups: Backing up your data is the only way to ensure you don’t lose all of it in the case of a data breach. Use an automated system to back up your files on a daily basis.
  6. Partner with an IT security company: Complete cybersecurity is difficult to implement without professional help. It’s a good idea for all small businesses to find a reliable security partner.

Small Businesses Benefit from Managed Security Services

Small business cyber security services come in many different models. Some companies rely on in-house or break/fix services, but these models are often not ideal for small businesses.

Running an in-house IT team can provide you with a familiar team that knows your systems, but it’s often prohibitively expensive for small businesses. Break/fix service providers, on the other hand, only show up when something needs fixing, which means they don’t provide active protection — and they too can cost a fortune.

It’s a smart move to outsource your security management to a managed IT company. You’ll get reliable access to IT experts, who can evaluate operational resilience, implement successful solutions, and actively safeguard your business. The benefits of managed IT services for small businesses include:

  • Lower IT costs
  • 24/7 access to professional support
  • Latest security technologies
  • Confidence and peace of mind

TTR Technology Protects Your Business

TTR Technology is one of the most trusted cyber security solutions partners for small business owners. We offer a complete range of ISO 9001 and HIPAA Certified security services and technologies enact a powerful security strategy and protect your business continuity.

Our security services come as customizable, flat-rate monthly plans with no hidden fees. Our service portfolio covers all aspects cyber security, including:

  • Network Security: We use an enterprise-level security operations center to actively monitor your network for threats 24/7. At the same time, we ensure your compliance with data security regulations.
  • Endpoint Security: Our monitoring platforms keeps constant tabs on all devices connected to your network. It prevents unauthorized access and responds to a virus or ransomware attack immediately.
  • SaaS Security: Use your cloud-based applications safely. Our SaaS security services plug the holes that plague many SaaS solutions to improve your protection and productivity.
  • Data Backup: We offer automated, reliable backup services that store your data on our fully-owned DDoS-protected data centers. Prevent data loss while keeping your data easily accessible.
  • Dark Web Monitoring: Many cyber attacks originate from the infamous Dark Web. Our Dark Web Monitoring services identify rising threats and help you stay ahead of criminals.
  • Vulnerability Assessment: We use latest scanning technologies to identify any security holes and at-risk assets in your system. We’ll use this information to both improve your security and provide awareness training to your employees.

Small business owners are cybercriminals’ favorite targets, but they don’t need to be vulnerable. Surprise potential attackers with a complete suite of TTR Technology cyber security solutions.

Choose peace of mind — choose TTR Technology. Contact us today for enterprise-level cyber security solutions.

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