Safety First: Understanding Outsourced Small Business IT Security
By Eli Newman –
Contrary to popular belief, cyber threats affect more than just big corporate and government IT systems. In fact, according to Fundera, 43 percent of cyber attacks are aimed at small businesses, and 60 percent of those enterprises are doomed to close within six months of the attack. As the owner of a small or medium sized business (SMB), these statistics might appear alarming. However, there are certain preventative safety measures you can employ to minimize your risk. One of the most cost-effective ways to proactively protect your network is by utilizing third-party small business IT security services. These managed security services give you access to the specialized expertise and sophisticated technology required to outsmart malicious hackers and safeguard your IT systems.
Still not convinced that hiring a managed service provider (MSP) is the way to go? Keep reading as we take a look at what exactly you stand to lose should you fall victim to a data breach and how to protect your SMB from potential cyber-attacks.
What’s at Risk?
When you fall victim to an attack, your data, money, and IT equipment are on the line. Hackers can do a significant amount of damage to your small business by accessing private information, such as:
- Customer credit card information
- Your company’s banking details
- Product designs
- Manufacturing processes
- Expansion plans
- Your pricing structure
If you think that’s bad, you might be even more alarmed to know that the list goes on. Besides hackers gaining unauthorized access to sensitive data, there are some other harmful consequences that come from data breaches, like:
- Financial losses from theft of banking information
- Financial losses as a result of business disruptions
- Expensive mitigation efforts
- Reputation damage
Protecting Your Small Business from Every Angle
Cyber threats come in many forms and lurk behind every corner in today’s digital landscape, meaning that you need to be prepared to protect your network from several different angles to avoid the above risks. Outlined below are some small business IT security services that cover various points of vulnerability so that you can protect your SMB from a devastating cyber attack.
To safeguard your network from internal threats, you should invest in cybersecurity training for your employees. Educating your personnel on best security practices (such as creating strong passwords or staying off of risky websites) and how to recognize and report any suspicious online activity can help to keep your data safe.
Knowing your weaknesses is the first step in improving your cybersecurity. Performing a risk assessment can reveal vulnerabilities in your network and allows you to plug those security gaps before an attack occurs. As part of your risk assessment efforts, be sure to examine where and how your data is stored, along with who has access to it. After this, you can more accurately identify who might want access to your company’s sensitive information and how they might try to obtain it. Once you’ve identified your IT system’s weaknesses and determined your risk levels, you should use the information gathered to develop a new cybersecurity strategy or improve your existing one.
Regular Updates & Antivirus Software
Ensuring that you routinely update all of your software will give your small business an added layer of protection, as most updates include security patches that close coding loopholes that hackers can exploit. Additionally, installing antivirus software can help to protect all the devices within your network from any unwanted viruses, ransomware, spyware, and phishing scams.
When it comes to company data, you should always live by the mantra: Safety first! With that said, implementing effective cybersecurity policies and solutions to keep your network safe is a lot easier said than done. Fortunately, Contigo’s small business IT security services are designed to safeguard your IT systems so that you can rest easy at night knowing that you are doing everything in your power to keep your organization’s sensitive information secure. Contact us today to get started on building your cybersecurity strategy.