Cybercriminals are increasingly targeting small businesses, thereby compromising the viability and reputation of the affected entities. Larger companies often maximize security by increasing IT budgets. However, many small businesses lack the financial resources to invest in cutting-edge cybersecurity technologies or maintain an in-house team of IT experts.
To address the financial challenges, firms need to find creative ways to stretch cybersecurity budgets by focusing on low-cost, high impact cyber defense solutions. When done correctly, this approach helps protect data by mitigating risk. Spending a large amount on one solution while neglecting other aspects of IT security is a wrong approach.
One way to maximize results without breaking the bank is to cover essential security measures like network security, endpoint protection, and user awareness training. In doing so, you safeguard your business from financial and data losses associated with cyber attacks. Cybersecurity breaches can undermine customer confidence and loyalty.
Tech42 offers some low-cost ways to protect your business from cybercrime.
- Outsourcing IT services: Managed IT service providers enable small businesses to hire certified technicians without committing to costly multi-year contracts. Vendors offer flexible service plans designed to reduce costs for businesses of all sizes. In turn, you avoid spending money on labor costs for internal teams. Working with highly skilled external tech experts allows your organization to detect and fix vulnerabilities more effectively.
- Use strong passwords: Passwords play a critical role in boosting cyber defenses. However, the passwords should be hard to guess or unravel using brute force tactics. Experts recommend relatively long passwords containing special characters and numbers. User awareness campaigns ensure that your employees understand the need to pick strong passwords.
- Two-factor authentication: A multi-layered approach to cybersecurity enhances data protection. Two-factor authentication involves using a password and a code delivered to the user via email, text, or voice call. Entering both a password and code bolsters the security of your company’s IT environments without a large amount of money. In some cases, this technique entails a face or fingerprint scan.
- Backup files regularly: Data loss can cripple the day-to-day functions of a business. Fortunately, you can avoid data loss by backing up data to the cloud than on local storage. This approach prepares your organization for any eventuality, including the possibility of a breach.
- Keep your applications updated: Software updates help patch vulnerabilities that compromise the security of your systems. By keeping programs up to date, you make it difficult for bad actors to capitalize on software flaws to launch an attack. Browsers, productivity apps, accounting software, and word processing applications must stay updated at all times.
- Deploy antivirus software: Antivirus software provides a layer of protection for your information technology environments. Avoid neglecting to keep the antivirus program updated because hackers can take advantage of any gaps to compromise your IT assets. These programs protect against threats like ransomware, spyware, viruses, and other forms of malware.
- User training: The conduct of users makes a difference in strengthening your firm’s cyber defenses. Providing in-depth training about the best cybersecurity practices is an affordable way to minimize risks. Research has shown that almost half of the data breaches are due to the conduct of internal users.
- Vulnerability management: Hackers exploit vulnerabilities that exist in programs to launch debilitating attacks on your systems. Vulnerability management tools mitigate this risk by helping you detect flaws. Hackers often employ techniques like cross-site scripting and SQL injection to capitalize on vulnerabilities.
- Administrative policies: Implementing administrative policies is one way to control risks associated with the conduct of users. Some of the policies that reinforce security include restricting physical access to devices, strong passwords, email policy, and the clean desk policy.
- Promote a security-first mindset: Maximizing security requires an organization-wide shift in mindset. Everyone should consider security when handling day-to-day tasks. Doing so helps close gaps for hackers to exploit.