SME Security Checklist: Protect Your Business From Digital Threats


The article originally appeared on TelcoSolutions

Businesses have to be more careful than ever when it comes to their security. Data theft, malware, ransomware—there’s no end to the threats. Barely a day goes by without hearing about another data breach, and with huge fines for failing to protect your data, it’s something you need to take very seriously.

Organizations of all sizes need to take preventative action, so read on for a quick security checklist you can follow to keep your business protected.

Firstly, why should you have a security checklist – John Catibog, Director of  Indagard Business Insurance advises “To be able to respond effectively to a cyber incident can reduce further damage to your company and third parties, limit downtime and loss of income. Ultimately, limiting loss of money, time, unwanted effort, and reputational damage.”

SMEs Must Protect Themselves from the Risks

SMEs should not think they are less at risk because they are smaller. On the contrary, they are often more tempting targets because hackers know they are more likely to have inadequate security in place.

The good news is that if you’re taking basic security measures, your business will be less at risk. This is because potential hackers will often move on to other softer targets.

Security Checklist for SMEs

Here are some of the basics you need to put in place to protect your data and ensure hackers don’t cause any problems for your business:

Use Strong Passwords

Passwords have their problems, but you can reduce the risks by ensuring you and your team use strong, uncrackable passwords. There is lots of advice on choosing secure passwords. For example, it’s a good idea to use long, random passwords that cannot be guessed. Consider using a password manager like LastPass, and that way everyone can use more secure passwords without having to worry about remembering them.

Carry Out a Risk Assessment

You need to know what your current risk level is. You might have a good idea already, but it’s good to know exactly what risks you face so you can take action. Get a full audit from a security firm and carry out penetration testing to find out what action you need to take.

Patch Your Systems

Always make sure you upgrade to the latest versions of software you run on your systems. Download all the updates and security patches, otherwise hackers could take advantage of vulnerabilities to infect your systems with malware.

Educate Your Employees

Humans are often the weakest link, so make sure they know about their security responsibilities. Arrange training on issues such as how to deal with email attachments, and make sure they do not have sensitive business data on their personal devices.

Invest in Antivirus Software

Make sure you have high-quality Antivirus software in place and use a firewall. Keep it updated, and this will help to reduce the risks significantly.

Create Backups

Hackers could take over your data or encrypt your files, your property could be affected by a storm or a fire—anything could go wrong. Backing up will ensure your data is safe. Consider backing up in the cloud so you can access it anywhere.

Protect Your Business from Threats

The threats posed by malicious hackers are real. Ransomware, malware, and data theft can cause significant problems for your business, so make sure you are prepared.

One final step you should take is to carry out a regular audit. Go over your security every six months, and look for any potential problems that need to be addressed. Also, consider speaking to a security specialist to find out what else you can do to make sure your data stays safe.

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