Cybersecurity is not reserved for large companies. Nor is it a necessity only for those that collect huge amounts of financial data and personal information. All businesses that rely on the Internet need to be aware of current cybersecurity risks and take the necessary steps to address existing vulnerabilities. Since it all starts with creating a cybersecurity plan, let’s look at some steps to take from an SMB perspective.
Educate employees on cybersecurity
One of the big issues for SMBs is budget. So, we want to create a cybersecurity plan with an apt starting point but minimal budget changes. So, beyond developing extensive plans and implementing strategies to proactively monitor your digital security, the first step is to educate. Because education is the best cybersecurity practice.
Your policies or strategies will only be as good as your employees’ knowledge and willingness to adhere to them. So start by arming your employees against more common attacks like email phishing scams. The more they know how and what phishing scams look like, the safer your digital assets will be.
Educate your employees on how hackers are most likely to break into systems. The importance of not ignoring security patch updates, for example, could be a powerful starting point. In addition, educating your employees also includes explaining what they should do when they believe there has been some kind of breach. Let them know who they should alert first and what procedure they should follow. Be sure to practice this reporting process in a controlled environment first and make it a priority in your cybersecurity plan.
-Allies in detecting problems
Another important point is to establish appropriate privileges for each employee. Because everyone at some point has access to the network, employees need to understand their role in the company’s security.
For example, terminated employees can become security liabilities, intentionally or unintentionally. If your IT department has a record of what devices each employee has, it will be easier to dispose of them when they are gone. If your employees understand this, they will also become an ideal ally to let you know if it is necessary to remove identifiers or privileges from a former employee.
-Use and storage of data
And finally, it is possible to minimize the damage caused by internal actors by creating guidelines and controls for users. Some of them can be how to create secure passwords or how to implement two-factor authentication. In addition, you can guide them in the correct use and storage of sensitive data. Including instructions for saving documents in the cloud, VPNs to log in remotely or the correct use of work devices.
Creating an articulated cybersecurity plan provides your employees with a framework to use in the event of an attack. However, while some threats come from outside your company, many may originate from employees themselves. Team members can often be one of your biggest SMB IT vulnerabilities. Educating them on cybersecurity will be one of the strongest points in your cybersecurity plan and will also reduce costs.
Identify the problem and the assets to be protected
A second important step in our cybersecurity plan is to have an outline of our IT assets. To protect your organization, you must first know what you have that is worth protecting. Because that is the only way to know what protection measures to implement and how urgently.
Start by making a list of your networks, storage repositories, servers and devices. This involves accounting for all of your organization’s assets. Personal assets, systems, machines, users, endpoint devices, networks, and stored and transmitted data. Next, examine the important data you have stored on devices and personnel or client management software. Whether it’s an email server, cloud storage or a CRM.
Review your IT assets. Including hardware, software, network configurations, policies and security controls. Also take into account if you have suffered any previous attacks or if there have been previous breach attempts. As an SMB you have a more compact team with which to discuss these issues. Be sure to talk to your department leaders to learn about the types of critical data your company holds.
The goal is to create a list of critical resources based on the value they provide. In this way, you can invest in protecting the most urgent and organize cybersecurity priorities. This identification process will form the basis of your strategic cybersecurity plan. Developing your organization’s cybersecurity maturity level. Also, identifying your assets will help you accurately understand your company’s minimum operating requirements and the real impact a cyber-attack could have.
Implement tailored protection methods
Now as a third detail of your cybersecurity plan is choosing which tools to use. But, part of creating a cybersecurity plan for SMBs is to evaluate which tools provide protection tailored to your needs. And that they do not waste or squander money and resources.
It cannot be underestimated that cybersecurity requires constant vigilance and powerful tools. But these could be very expensive and testing one and another could mean a higher risk. Another important detail is that you may not have enough experience. So, the secret to implement methods tailored to your needs is to seek professional advice in the area of cybersecurity.
When implementing methods, it is important to know that cybersecurity for each organization is different. They all use different assets and procedures. However, without advice you are likely to invest in cybersecurity without responding to your real needs.
Existing cybersecurity tools are extremely varied. Some are special for threat monitoring, others focus on intrusion management, detection and protection, others antivirus/malware, insider threat analysis. Because the cyber world is full of malicious programs: viruses, ransomware, keyloggers, botnets, Trojans. So, the best thing to do is to count on expert advisors that allow you to put in place tools made for you.
AT&T Cybersecurity is a unified platform designed to provide and ensure complete defense against the latest security threats. With proven quality and at a reasonable price, making it ideal for SMBs. But not only this, but AT&T Cybersecurity has GB-advisors, a group of expert advisors in the area of cybersecurity.
Contact us, and we will help you to give continuity to your cybersecurity plan with the best advice and the best tools specially made for you.