4 Ways Small Businesses Can Improve Their Cyber Security Strategies
In order to keep your operations safe and competitive in the current business arena, you have to make cyber security a priority. It’s fine just to have the basics squared away. However, the smart business owner will do more than the bare minimum.
Four Tips to Improve Your Cyber Security Strategy
It doesn’t take a genius to look at the trends in cyber crime and security to recognize that the situation is terribly serious. As the data show, cyber crime damage costs are on the rise. As a matter of fact, they’re expected to hit $6 trillion annually by 2021.
Between last year and the end of 2021, spending on cyber security is expected to exceed $1 trillion. Human attack surface, global ransomware, and malware are all on the rise. Warren Buffet has gone so far as to declare that cyber attacks are the single greatest problem facing humankind. He says they’re even more dire than nuclear weapons.
So we have a huge problem, and small businesses are certainly not immune. So the question is: Are you being sufficiently proactive about your cyber security strategy? Here are four things you should do to improve your approach.
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1. Optimize Your Network
One of the challenges for small businesses is that they have to address so many different responsibilities. These can include regional and global requirements as well as business-critical applications. Additionally, they need to account for mobile users, network-specific security threats, regulations, compliance, and existing technological infrastructures.
When all these factors are in play, trying to locate a single cyber security solution that would meet all your needs can seem impossible. But software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) could do the trick for you.
“SD-WAN began as a new way to manage and optimize enterprise networks,” explains Dave Greenfield. Greenfield is a secure networking evangelist at Cato Networks, a provider of secure, cloud-based SD-WAN services. “Created to overcome the high bandwidth costs and the rigidity of MPLS services, SD-WAN incorporates Internet transports (such as cable, DSL, fiber and 4G) into the WAN and forms a virtual overlay across all transports. Today, SD-WAN as a service (SDWaaS) extends SD-WAN concept to include mobile access and a full complement of network security capabilities (such as NGFW, IPS, and secure web gateway (SWG). With one networking solution, companies can address all of their security and networking requirements.”
You’re free to optimize your network any way you please, of course. But SD-WAN is highly advantageous. Not only does it enhance cyber security, but it also helps smaller businesses stay on budget by streamlining your operations.
2. Invest in Better Employee Training
Another common difficulty for small businesses is the lack of employee-side competence. It’s not that workers don’t possess the mental capacity to understand how cyber security works. However, most businesses don’t educate employees in this area.
In addition to investing in intuitive networking solutions, you have to do your best to train your team on basic security principles. These include password integrity, Internet usage guidelines, BYOD restrictions, and identification of cyber threats.
3. Use Multi-Factor Authentication
Roughly 62 percent of small- to mid-sized organizations aren’t currently using multi-factor authentication. If you’re not using it, now is probably a good time to give it some serious thought.
“Multi-factor authentication requires more than two layers of verification to confirm user identity or account authorization,” Risk Control Strategies explains. “Often, this comes down to identifying or providing information that theoretically only the user would know.”
4. Have a Plan for Backing Up Data
Finally, it’s imperative to have a plan in place for backing up data. You never want to run the risk of losing everything if your network ever gets breached or compromised. Backing up information won’t do anything to prevent an attack, of course. But it will improve your chances of experiencing a faster recovery.
Putting It All Together
It’s 2018, which means you can’t afford for your cyber security strategy to grow stagnant. Cyber threats are evolving constantly. Therefore, your approach to online security should evolve, as well. By implementing up-to-date techniques and adopting the appropriate solutions, you can ensure your business will stay in operation comfortably into the distant future.