In today’s world, it takes many technologies and processes to provide comprehensive risk and security management. What are the must-have solutions for SMB cyber protection today?
Today’s cyber criminals are grateful that many small businesses typically operate without a dedicated in-house IT expert and are working with antiquated, legacy systems. Today’s small businesses rely just as heavily on big data as bigger organizations, yet they tend to operate without the digital asset management and data protections in place to defend against ransomware.
What are the must-have solutions for SMB cyber protection?
- Layered Security: Cybersecurity technology starts with antivirus software. Antivirus, as its name implies, is designed to detect, block, and remove viruses and malware. Modern antivirus software can protect against ransomware, keyloggers, backdoors, rootkits, 10 trojan horses, worms, adware, and spyware. Some products are designed to detect other threats, such as malicious URLs, phishing attacks, social engineering techniques, identity theft, and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.
- Firewalls: A network firewall is also essential. Firewalls are designed to monitor incoming and outgoing network traffic based on a set of configurable rules—separating your secure internal network from the Internet, which is not considered secure. Firewalls are typically deployed as an appliance on your network and in many cases offer additional functionality, such as virtual private network (VPN) for remote workers.
- Patch Management: Patch management is an important consideration as well. Cyber criminals design their attacks around vulnerabilities in popular software products such as Microsoft Office or Adobe Flash Player. As vulnerabilities are exploited, software vendors issue updates to address them. As such, using outdated versions of software products can expose your business to security risks. There are a variety of solutions available that can automate patch management.
- Password Management: Recent studies have reported that weak passwords are at the heart of the rise in cyber theft, causing 76% of data breaches. To mitigate this risk, businesses should adopt password management solutions for all employees. Many people have a document that contains all of their password information in one easily accessible file—this is unsafe and unnecessary. There are many password management apps available today. These tools allow users keep track of all your passwords, and if any of your accounts are compromised you can change all of your passwords quickly. Encryption is also an important consideration. Encrypting hard drives ensures that data will be completely inaccessible, for example if a laptop is stolen. These measures protect against a wide array of cyber attacks. However, because threats like ransomware are always evolving, security solutions are just one part of an effective defense strategy. You also need solutions in place that enable you to return to operations quickly if you do suffer a cyber attack. Data protection technologies are an essential second layer of defense against cyber crime.
- Backup and Recovery: Taking frequent backups of all data considered critical to your business is critical. The exact frequency of backups will vary based on your business’ specific needs. Traditionally, most businesses took a daily backup, and for some businesses this may still be suitable. However, today’s backup products are designed to make incremental copies of data throughout the day to minimize data loss. When it comes to protecting against cyber attacks, solutions that back up regularly allow you to restore data to a point in time before the breach occurred without losing all of the data created since the previous night’s backup. Some data protection products can take image-based backups that are stored in a virtual machine format—essentially a snapshot of the data, applications, and operating system. This allows users to run applications from the backup copy. This functionality is typically referred to as instant recovery or recovery-in-place.
Unfortunately, a general lack of cybersecurity awareness in today’s SMB workforce is a leading cause of a cybersecurity breaches, including ransomware attacks. Employee training is a top component of a truly successful cybersecurity protection program – a reality SMB leadership must keep in mind.
Did you know? Datto’s version of Backup and Recovery technology is called Instant Virtualization? CompuData is a Datto partner and can deliver the ability to run an application from the backup instance of a virtual machine allowing users to continue working while the primary server is restored following an outage, dramatically reducing downtime. Some solutions, including Datto’s, extend this capability to the cloud to protect against failures.