Business Resources

Cyber Security’s Importance In Small Businesses

Most people assume that cyber security only applies to big businesses. After all, enterprise level organisations have much to offer in terms of the sheer amount of valuable data – be it employee’s personal information, payroll data or the company’s transactions and accounting records. Thus, it is only natural that these large organisations impose a higher and more stringent protection against potential cyber risks.

However, while small businesses certainly have less to offer in terms of both data and monetary capital, this does not put them at any less risk to cyber crimes.

Cyber-criminals are now switching their strategies to target small businesses as well. There are several possible reasons for this: Cyber-criminals deliberately target small businesses as they tend to not have sufficient resources for a robust security system in place, as opposed to big companies which have the resources for a more impenetrable security system. Additionally, small businesses can also offer entry to bigger companies that they are contracting with, where there are more data to steal.

With the proliferation of mobile workforce at firms of varying sizes, the threats that these small businesses face can come from anywhere – ranging from mobile devices, social media attacks, email scams or even through cloud storage.

One of the most common breaches facing small businesses that are on the rise now is ransomware. Employees unknowingly click on an email link which immediately encrypts data files on the company network. The criminals would then demand for a ransom, in which the company’s files would then be decrypted in exchange for the ransom. Other types of breaches also involve malware – a code with malicious intent that typically steals data or destroys files, and phishing.

Unfortunately, the financial implication of a breach on a small business is still severe nonetheless. On top of being subjected to breaches, these small businesses might at times be fined due to non-compliance as well, which simply adds on to their financial woes.

It is understandable that small business might not have the necessary capital and resources to implement a highly secured and robust security system. However, this does not necessarily mean that one should give up and succumb to the hands of these cyber criminals.

Self-service Functionality

In implementing any modern cyber security solution, enabling a self-service functionality allows staff to easily and securely add any new devices to the company’s network. Furthermore, as humans are the weakest link to a company’s cyber defence, ensure that the platform is simple and easy to use.

Flag Out Any Unusual Activity

Additionally, remind your employees to flag out any unusual activity that does not seem to follow normal operational processes. Provide them with real-time updates on threat activity and compliance so that staff are constantly aware on the importance of cyber security.

Two Factor Authentication

If possible, always include two factor authentication in all of your company processes, particularly for money transfers or payroll.

Ultimately, the decision that the business decides on is dependent on the time and resources available to manage it. After all, in any small business, both factors are scarce. Even so, small businesses have a long way to go in implementing a good risk management. Nonetheless, a good cyber security management starts from practising these good habits.

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