Cybersecurity: Where to Start

More than 40 percent of cyber attacks target small businesses, but only 14 percent of small businesses believe that they are secure against these threats, according to statistics compiled by SmallBizTrends. The cost of these attacks can be significant: 60 percent of small businesses go out of business within six months of a cyber attack.

In this article, we will look at how small businesses can start taking real measures to protect themselves from the most common forms of cyber attacks.

More than 40 percent of cyber attacks target small businesses and most are woefully underprepared.

Cybersecurity 101

Cybersecurity is the process of protecting computers, programs, networks and data from attack, damage or unauthorized access through technologies, processes and best practices.

Most businesses are familiar with firewalls to prevent unauthorized access or anti-virus programs to avoid computers becoming infected with viruses. However, cybersecurity also encompasses password management, anti-phishing training and other policies to help employees avoid problems.

The Ponemon Institute found that email phishing and social engineering were the most common attack vector. In addition, negligent employees and contractors were cited as the number one cause of data breaches with more than 80 percent of data breaches resulted from weak or stolen passwords.

Most common cyber attacks. - Source: Ponemon Institute

The most effective cybersecurity measures combine technology with effective training and policies. You should never rely on technology alone to provide complete protection. That said, technology can be invaluable in enhancing policies by blocking threats, managing passwords and much more.

Despite the importance of cybersecurity, businesses cited a lack of personnel, budget and technologies when asked about the challenges to implementing effective cybersecurity. This is especially true for small businesses that may a limited budget for technology and hiring full-time personnel.

Jungle Disk is the top cybersecurity suite designed specifically for small businesses with two to 250 employees. With simple monthly per-employee pricing plans and a comprehensive all-in-one suite, you can protect your small business without shelling out tens of thousands of dollars for enterprise solutions.

5 Easy Steps to Get Started

Let’s take a look at five easy steps that you can take today to protect your small business against cybersecurity threats.

Download our free checklist of cybersecurity topics to cover when onboarding new employees.

#1: Protect Employee Inboxes

Email phishing is the most common attack vector for cyber attacks, which means protecting employee inboxes is paramount.

Start by training employees to recognize and report phishing emails. In addition to training new employees, you should regularly test their knowledge by sending out fake phishing emails and analyzing their response. Security should be at the top of employees’ minds at all times.

Technology should be used to proactively block phishing emails from ever hitting employee inboxes. Google’s G Suite includes robust anti-phishing technology, but other email providers don’t include built-in technology to block these emails, which can expose employees to dangerous situations.

Jungle Disk’s Active Network Protection provides always updated anti-phishing and anti-malware technology. By blocking these threats before they enter a network, small businesses can avoid any problems from arising at the start. We also provide email archiving to help mitigate the risk of data loss.

#2: Keep Software Updated

Outdated software is one of the most common ways that cyber criminals gain access to computers and networks.

Start by keeping anti-virus and anti-malware software up-to-date. If virus signatures are outdated, these software solutions are far less effective at preventing infection. Next, ensure that personal computers, laptops, mobile devices and network routers are updated and patched.

The company’s website and/or web application should also be kept up-to-date. For example, update your CMS or dependencies to the latest versions to close any security holes. These security vulnerabilities are easy for cyber criminals to scan for and they can be used to perpetrate many types of attack.

#3: Encrypt & Backup Data

Ransomware and data loss can be devastating for small businesses — unless the data was encrypted and backed up.

Many small businesses use Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive to host their files, but it’s important to note that these are not backups. If your Google account is compromised, you could lose access to all of that data. It’s better to use on-site storage or a dedicated encrypted cloud storage service.

Jungle Disk provides fast, compliant and encrypted data backup for computers, laptops and servers. With the first 20 GB included for free, you only pay for the space that you need with no contracts or setup fees. We also reduce file size and never back up duplicate files to remain efficient.

#4: Secure Your Network

Most small businesses have some kind of firewall protection, but few are protected against advanced network threats like malware, ransomware, botnet attacks and DDoS attacks.

Local networks should be secured with at least WPA2 with separate networks for employees and guests. Firewalls should be used to prevent network intrusions, while software should be installed to proactively prevent computers on the network from accessing malware or other malicious software.

In addition, it’s important to have employees use VPNs when accessing the network remotely. These VPNs can prevent man-in-the-middle attacks and keep data safe as it’s transported between the employee’s computer and the company’s network — a potential issue on public wifi networks.

Jungle Disk’s Active Network Protection is always up-to-date and protects small businesses from all seven advanced network threats. We’re so confident that we provide up to a $50,000 data breach guarantee!

Try our free 2-minute network test to see if you’re existing network is protected against the seven biggest advanced network threats — you only need your email address to get started.

#5: Setup a Password Policy

Many small businesses have ineffective password management — even spreadsheets containing all vital passwords!

Employees should be required to use strong passwords, different passwords for different services and change those passwords on a regular basis. In addition, two-factor authentication is a great way to further reduce the odds of an account being compromised from a stolen password.

Jungle Disk’s TeamPassword simplifies password management for small businesses. Employees can easily and securely access all the passwords they require through browser extensions, while account activity can be monitored from one location. The unique password generator and two-factor authentication features also ensure that highest level of security.

The Bottom Line

Cybersecurity may seem daunting to small businesses, especially when they’re operating on a limited budget, but the truth is that the best security stems from good policies rather than expensive technology. The combination of technology and training can help keep your business safe from attack.

Don’t forget to download our free checklist of cybersecurity topics to cover when onboarding new employees.

Jungle Disk provides affordable cybersecurity solutions that are especially designed for small businesses. Sign up today with a 30-day money-back guarantee and see how easy it is to gain the peace of mind that your business is protected.

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