An Executive’s Guide to Cybersecurity to Protect SMBs

Device Management

Since the birth of the Internet of Things, businesses have become almost completely reliable on internet use to run their day-to-day operations – from administration to sales. And this is not just true for e-commerce businesses. According to Internet World Stats, as of June 2020 there are 4.83 billion active internet users worldwide. With so much internet traffic, both businesses and individuals are at risk from falling victim to a cyber attack, which is the reason why it’s important for SMB executives to learn, now more than ever, the most amount of tools they can in order to protect a small to medium-sized business. 

This is not only to repel a possible attack, but to understand why your business in particular could be a cyber criminal’s treasure chest. If you think your business is not known well-enough, or perhaps too local to have to worry about being a target, you couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, in 2018 alone 62% of all businesses worldwide experienced some form of cyber attack. 

Understanding the Risk

As many people are still not sufficiently informed about how common cyber attacks are, it does happen that executives tend to slack off when it comes to applying cybersecurity measures in their respective businesses. To put things into perspective a bit better, let’s talk numbers. 

In the 12 month period ending on June 30, 2020, the ACSD, which is a subsidiary agency of the Australian Signals Directorate, reported that they received nearly 60,000 cybercrime reports. Due to the high number of attacks, the ACSD was only able to respond to 2,266 of these incidents. 

Limiting File, Folder and Document Data Exposure

Everyone thinks about antivirus software as a means of protection on a device. However, few think about how useless antivirus is when a company’s files are readily accessible to anyone and everyone. One of the first things you must assess in your company is ease of access to corporate files, folders and documents in employee equipment. 

As of 2019, a study by Varonis reported that out of 785 data risk assessments held with over 30 different industries, 53% of companies found more than 1,000 sensitive files that were readily open or available to every employee in the company. 

Why is this relevant?

Because if these files are made available to employees so easily, a cyber criminal could also have access to these sensitive files once they infiltrate a device. Which can easily be done through phishing, malware or other common cyber viruses. 

To protect your company’s sensitive data, restrict who has access to what information and enforce for your employees to only use corporate files in company devices. When a sensitive file is accessed on a personal device, it will be exposed to any malware that infects your employee’s device. 

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