How Can SMBs/SMEs cybersecure their business?

Top practices for SMBs/SMEs to enhance their Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity took center stage because there was an exponential rise in data both at the consumer and business levels.

Result: Data breaches became more common.

But what does that imply for SMBs and SME markets? How vulnerable or immune are they against these data breaches and other attacks that became commonplace during the COVID era?

Picture this:

1.       As per the reports by the US National Cybersecurity Alliance, about 60% of SMBs that have been cyber-attack victims have to shut their shops within six months of the attack.

2.       In 2019-2020, about 65% of SMEs suffered cyber-attacks, compared to 46% of all businesses.

3.       NatWest Research revealed SMEs don’t get hit once. SMEs suffered a breach and were hit an average of six times each in that period – once every two months.

If you are still wondering whether to deploy cybersecurity measures in your SMB, digest this:

  • About 43% of all data breaches target small businesses.
  • Small and medium businesses spend more than $2.2 million annually to protect themselves against cybercrime.

The mentioned data is not to scare you but to make you aware that SMBs/SMEs are the most lucrative targets for hackers. The reason is simple. SMBs/SMEs are good enough to have impressionable data to steal and small enough not to have proper cybersecurity measures.

So, how do SMBs/SMEs stay safe online?

SMBs/SMEs can stay safe and secure online by incorporating some easy-peasy practices.

Best Practices to Enhance Cybersecurity For SMBs/SMEs Market

Top practices can keep small and medium enterprises safe and secure from data breaches. Without any further ado, let’s look at those practices.

  1. Train your employees: Educating or training your employees is the first step toward awareness. An effective cybersecurity awareness is a must for all employees in your business including you.
  2. Choose long and nonsensical passwords: Yes, you read it right. Long and nonsensical passwords will help you keep your data protected. In fact, the longer the better. So, show some creativity in choosing your passwords. With creativity I mean get as silly as possible. In other words, string absurd phrase for your password – the longer the better. And to remember these passwords, invest in a Password manager. 
  3. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), aka, Two-Factor Authentication (TFA): Think of a blanket protecting your account, network, and database. MFA is an additional layer that protects your data. It is an additional security blanket on your password. Even if your password is leaked, hackers will not be able to access your network, account, and data base, as there is a code that comes to you and only you.
  4. Share with extreme caution and care: Sharing the confidential data for SMBs is crucial, however, be cautious while sharing anything to ensure data protection. Before sharing anything ensure that the person with whom you are sharing, needs that information. If yes, try sharing this information through cloud platforms like Dropbox, or Google Drive that are secure.
  5. Updates are important: Yes, they can be annoying, but they are your best bet to stay safe online. Reason: Usually the updates are released with new patch-ups to secure any gaps in the software. Don’t give hackers a chance by avoiding the updates.

These are top five practices to enhance the cybersecurity for SMBs/SMEs, but these are not all. There are few others like-

  • Taking a regular back-up of your data
  • Not using your personal device for official and confidential work
  • Securing your hardware

October is a Cybersecurity Awareness Month, but let’s make the habit of practicing cyber hygiene an everyday routine.

Swati Gupta is a Disruptive Technology writer and editor with almost three years of experience in the field. A journalist transitioned into a lifestyle content writer and consultant with almost 18+ years of experience. Contact me for writing, editing, and proofreading here or at swatithewriter (at) gmail (dot) com