With businesses working remotely and hackers becoming more sophisticated, small and medium-sized businesses are under more pressure than ever to protect themselves from cyberattacks. Further, SMBs are often easier targets with fewer resources and less experience in cybersecurity, so the risks can be higher and the impact greater. As such, every SMB should equip itself with a few basic cyber-security must-haves.
1. Multi-Factor Authentication
With remote work and disparate networks on the rise, more devices than ever are connecting to company networks – and they’re easy targets for cybercriminals when they’re not properly secured. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) requires users to provide at least two pieces of information (such as a password and an identification number that’s sent via text message) to access accounts, systems or data on the network. It’s becoming the new gold standard for account and identity security in business, and it can be a simple and cost-effective way to drastically improve security.
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2. A Robust Collaboration Tool
SMBs need to be able to collaborate with their partners and vendors as needed – and as the workplace becomes hybrid-remote, collaboration needs to be able to happen just about anywhere. Look for a robust collaboration tool that rolls chat, video calls, file-sharing and other collaborative features into one robust platform, employees can work together from any device at any time.
Because the modern office requires robust information sharing through collaboration tools, SMBs need to make sure those tools are highly secure. Cisco Webex, a common collaboration choice among SMBs, offers end-to-end encryption with customizable settings to help businesses stay secure and compliant.
3. Intelligent Security
According to most hackers, traditional firewalls and antivirus security are irrelevant. SMBs need to level up their traditional security measures with a holistic and intelligent solution that can identify, block and mitigate threats in real-time. Cisco Umbrella tackles security at the DNS layer and analyzes activity based on real-time threat data from Cisco Talos, one of the world’s most sophisticated threat intelligence research labs.
4. Security Awareness Training for Employees
SMB employees need to be aware of risks so they can effectively identify and mitigate them. A security awareness training program that educates staff on cyber-risks is an effective way to protect company data from theft or loss. Ideally, security awareness training should include mobile-friendly videos, interactive quizzes, phishing tests and other engaging resources in an affordable package that provides measurable ROI.
5. An Integrated Security Platform
Siloed security solutions are only a step above having no security solution at all. While many SMBs have security tools in place, they’re often disjointed, which creates vulnerabilities that hackers can and will exploit.
Instead of relying on separate tools, each with its own interface, SMBs should look for a single, unified platform that consolidates their tools in one pane of glass. Cisco SecureX is a great example – it empowers IT teams to view all their tools and how they work together making it easier to catch anomalies and potential threats.
Work With an Expert
Acordis Technology & Solutions is an expert IT company that helps SMBs implement cybersecurity and data protection strategies. We’ve put together a quick assessment to help businesses identify where they stand in terms of network security – take the free assessment now!
Take the SMB Network Security Assessment to see how your network stacks up.