2017 was a turning point for cybersecurity. Today’s data shows that the network security trends established then are now expanding.
The outbreak of WannaCry ransomware was the biggest of its kind in history. The high-profile breach of Equifax data showed that there is no such thing as an organization “too big to fail” when it comes to cybersecurity.
Yet small businesses are at even more risk than the large enterprises whose breaches make headline news. In fact, 54 percent of companies have experienced cyber attacks that compromised data or IT infrastructure, and the average cost of a successful hack is over $5 million.
The truth is that your organization is at constant risk of cyberattack. The challenging part is that you may not even know if an attack has already been successfully carried out – until it’s too late. Which is why growing businesses need solid network security in position before anything happens.
Achieve Network Security for Small Businesses in 3 Steps
Huge enterprises make tempting targets for hackers around the globe, but they also have significant resources available for countering those threats. Small and medium-sized businesses, on the other hand, have to protect themselves in a far more strategic manner.
Most small or mid-sized organizations are more adaptable due to their scalable size. This presents some key opportunities for businesses with under 1000 employees looking to begin building network security defenses. Here are 3 steps small businesses can take to achieve network security:
1. Establish a Security-Oriented Company Culture
Before thinking about network infrastructure, endpoint security, and antivirus software, small and mid-sized businesses have to address their real first line of defense: employee vigilance.
According to IBM, 60% of cyber attacks involve either malice or error at the employee level.
Something as seemingly innocuous as opening the wrong email attachment may expose sensitive data to hackers. An entry-level accountant who trusts what appears to be a request for data from the CEO may actually be sending company data to a compromised email identity.
A security-oriented company culture treats all IT positions as cybersecurity positions, and trains knowledge workers to understand the importance of data security in their routine activities.
By putting network security at the forefront of company culture, companies can increase the chance of catching bad actors before they obtain sensitive data.
2. Outsource Infrastructure to Cybersecurity Experts
One of the ways that enterprise-level organizations differ from smaller businesses is in their ability to implement large-scale on-premises data infrastructure. When a company has thousands of employees, it can generally afford to build and maintain its own network security solution.
Smaller organizations simply don’t have the cash flow for that kind of solution to make sense economically. However, advances in cloud hosting and managed network services allow small businesses to leverage the same kind of infrastructural benefits that large enterprises enjoy, but in a scalable format.
This levels the playing field between small businesses and enterprises by ensuring that everyone can afford access to industry-best cyber security. In fact, even large enterprises are beginning to migrate away from on-premises infrastructure towards public and private cloud solutions, due to better quality and cost-efficiency.
3. Be Specific When Prioritizing Endpoint Security
When drafting an IT budget, simply writing off cybersecurity as a budget line item won’t do, no matter how much money you throw at it. Individual cybersecurity threats differ greatly from one another, and require unique approaches in order for you to guarantee your data’s safety.
In an environment where infrastructural security is the responsibility of a managed service provider, endpoint security becomes the main focus of the small to mid-sized business. This task becomes manageable when broken up into smaller components.
For instance, top priorities in the field of endpoint security include advanced malware protection, secure user authentication, and data encryption. Application security, threat intelligence, and endpoint detection are also all important – but distinct – priorities that fall within the endpoint security category.
In order to create a robust, successful approach for dealing with today’s cybersecurity threats, each one of these priorities must be addressed specifically. When it comes to network security for small business, a cybersecurity chain is as strong as its weakest link.
Have an Expert Perform a Cybersecurity Audit
The three steps above offer a feasible approach to improving network security for small businesses without overextending their budgets. Once these solutions are in place, it’s time to begin measuring their effectiveness.
Cybersecurity is a field where organizations invest in preventing things from happening – you can’t measure the effectiveness of a security solution based on whether the company was attacked or not.
Instead, a cybersecurity professional must perform an extensive audit to determine where vulnerabilities lie, and how best to address them.
Are you ready to start building a next-generation, security solution for your organization? Contact one of our specialists, today.