Weekly, news breaks of a business being breached via the cloud or a hosted technology. iCloud, Home Depot, Target, Sony, even the United States IRS have been subjects of large-scale cloud breaches. Cybersecurity is constantly in the news.

Just because massive organizations make the most headlines, small and medium-sized business should not be without a plan to stave off attacks and mitigate risks.

“SMB’s are just as likely to get swept up in the net of an attack as enterprise organizations are,” said Tiberiu Szabo, one of SSI’s Senior Technology Consultants. “Attacks are often done en masse, and in most cases, smaller businesses do not have the backup systems that larger businesses have, so they are more than likely to pay the ransom in order to have their data released.”

Hackers have shifted their targets. In fact, in 2017 nearly half of all cyber attacks were against SMB’s.

First Line of Defense: Employees and Email Safety

There are a couple easy steps that both employees and management can take to help protect organizational data.

Email systems, while critical to employee and business communication, represent the biggest vulnerability to security. A few things that every employee should be wary of:

  • Train employees to not open attachments from unknown e-mails or unexpected e-mails
  • Train employees to not open unknown links
  • In case money is requested over e-mail, have users verify with the sender through a phone call

Management and IT stakeholders need to help guide employees with specific requirements, including:

  • Ensure password complexity
    • i.e. at least 8 characters, upper case, lower case and symbol for all employees
  • Verify with IT that all of your other systems have the same password standard
  • Switches, firewalls, routers, copiers, etc.
  • Subscribe to security packages for your firewall such as packet inspection that will provide additional security in conjunction with an up to date AV.
  • Subscribe to a DNS filter such as OpenDNS (link to tech page) by Cisco for additional protection for your employees from malware, bots, infected sites and get the ability to filter what they browse.

Managed Cloud Security and IT Security Services from SSI

If you’re concerned about the security of your business technology, and IT assessment from SSI is a great place to start. A comprehensive audit of your systems and processes will help identify and remedy any deficiencies or vulnerability.

Beyond simple cybersecurity and filtering, SSI provides a suite of IT security services to fit the needs of businesses of all sizes including backup and business continuity, so that if you are hit by a breach, the effects are kept at an absolute minimum.