We are tend to ignore or put off issues that we don’t know about, think are too hard to fix or believe it won’t happen to me. Here are some of the most common cybersecurity issues faced by SMBs that that could leave your business in danger if left unchecked.
1. Outdated Software
We understand that updating software can be a hassle. But running outdated software is like having an open front door for hackers. When software vendors release updates, they often include crucial security patches. These patches fix vulnerabilities that hackers exploit to get into your network or steal passwords. Don’t let outdated software be the weak key into your systems and keep everything up to date to ensure your digital infrastucture is secure.
2. Weak Passwords
If your passwords are weak, you might as well be handing out your office keys to cyber criminals. Instead, create strong and unique passphrases for all accounts and devices. Consider using a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
Password managers are a lifesaver for storing complex passwords securely. As a business owner, you cannot expect your employees to memorise multiple complex passphrases. You need to provide them with a password manager and require them to create strong unique passphrases for all accounts.
3. No Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
Using only a single password to protect your accounts is asking for trouble. It is the equivalent of having nothing but a screen door at the entrance of your business. Adding MFA (aka 2FA) provides extra layers of protection as it enforces users to provide extra authentication factors. This makes it much, mush harder for cyber attackers to breach your accounts.
4. No Employee Security Training
No matter how much technology you use to secure your business, people are still your networks biggest risk with employee error the cause of approximately 88% of all data breaches. Thus, your employees can be your business’s weakest link or strongest defence.
Without proper cybersecurity training, your staff may unknowingly fall victim to phishing scams or inadvertently expose sensitive information. You need to regularly educate your team about cybersecurity best practices on topics such as:
- Recognising phishing emails.
- Avoiding suspicious websites.
- Learning about the latest security issues.
- Using secure file-sharing methods.
5. Unsecured Wireless Networks
Unsecured WiFi networks can be an easy gateway for hackers to get into your network and intercept sensitive data. Ensure your WiFi is password-protected and uses uses WPA2 or WPA3 encryption for an added layer of security. For critical business tasks consider a virtual private network (VPN) to further shield your data from prying eyes.
6. No Backups
Imagine waking up to find your business’s data all gone! Without backups, this issue soon becomes a nightmare that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Data loss can be due to hardware failures, ransomware attacks or many other unknown possibilities.
Embrace the 3-2-1 rule. Have at least three copies of your data, stored on two different media types, with one copy stored securely offsite.
Plus don’t forget to regularly test your backups to ensure they are functional and reliable.
7. Disregarding Mobile Device Security
Mobile devices have become common place in the office workhorses but they also bring on more security risks. You need to ensure that all company-issued devices have passcodes or biometric locks enabled and consider implementing mobile device management (MDM) solutions. These will enable you to enforce security policies as well as remotely wipe data and ensure devices stay up to date.
8. Shadow IT
Shadow IT refers to the use of unauthorised and unknown hardware and software that may be in use within your business. It might seem harmless when employees use convenient tools they find online but these unvetted applications can pose serious security risks. You need to put in place a clear policy for the use of software and services within your business and regularly audit your systems to uncover any shadow IT lurking around.
9. Incident Response Plan
Even with all precautions in place, security incidents still happen. If you don’t have an incident response plan, an attack can leave your business scrambling to find out what to do in response. You need to develop a comprehensive incident response plan now. The plan should outline key items such as:
- how you are documenting things as you need to start documenting steps straight away.
- who needs to be contacted if an incident happens (managers, owners, IT provider, insurance, police, clients, employees, banks, industry regulation bodies, etc)?
- what are the above people / organisations contact details?
- how regularly do the above people and organisations need to be contacted?
- find out what has actually happened and what is compromised.
- what accounts do you need to secure / reset passwords for (computer, email, banks, accounting, website, social media etc)
- does any evidence need to be collected or stored for insurance / police etc?
- what devices need to be isolated, scanned and rebuilt.
- who will preform the investigation and remediation (internal staff, external IT provider, insurance company, police etc)?
- is it worth performing a full investigation?
This is only a fraction of what is needed in a response plan but you need to start somewhere. Contact us to work with you to create a plan to suit your needs.
Once you have a plan you also need to regularly test and update it to ensure it is still effective and relevant.
Need To Improve Your Cybersecurity?
Don’t let cybersecurity weaknesses cripple your business. We can help you find and fix potential vulnerabilities as well as create a robust security posture that protects your business. If you are located in Australia and need help, feel free to contact us to schedule a cybersecurity assessment.