5 top items your small business needs on its cybersecurity to-do list

(BPT) - If you run a small to medium-sized business, you may think your risk of cyberattacks is slim to none. But just because your business is smaller and you have your data stored on-premises does not exempt you from risk. According to the Ninth Annual Cost of Cybercrime Study by Accenture, 43% of cyberattacks are now aimed at small businesses - but only 14% of those businesses are prepared to defend themselves. Since the pandemic, cybercrime has increased by 600%, according to Embroker.com. And the cost of cyberattacks - from business disruption and lost data to system downtime, damage to your company's reputation and even legal liability - is higher than ever. Cyber defense needs to be a major component of your business strategy.

What can your business do to help prevent these attacks in the first place?

Types of cyberattacks

It helps to understand where cybercriminals are most likely to strike, which is at most companies' biggest point of vulnerability - the human factor. The Ponemon Institute's State of Cybersecurity Report has identified the most common types of cyberattacks on small businesses:

  • Social Engineering/Phishing (57%): This can take the form of an email that appears to be from a trusted source, like a co-worker or supervisor, asking for help and requesting you click a link or download something.
  • Compromised/Stolen Devices (33%): Devices without sufficient security safeguards in place can be vulnerable.
  • Credential Theft (30%): Hackers obtain usernames and passwords to access accounts. Having strong, unique passwords and multi-factor authentication to access accounts can help prevent unauthorized access.

Strategies to safeguard your business

No matter the size of your business, you can take practical steps to help defend against cyberattacks, which will save your company time, effort and money in the long term.

Here are 5 tactics that should be on your cyber defense checklist:

1. Educate your employees about security best practices

Make sure everyone in your business understands common cyberthreats, and is well trained on how to identify typical phishing and social engineering scams. In addition, help remote employees secure their home networks by offering training on setting up secure Wi-Fi.

2. Keep business and personal devices separate

Especially as many employees continue working remotely all or part of the time, reduce security risks by emphasizing the importance of everyone in your organization using only company devices for work purposes.

3. Beef up security measures for employee accounts and network access

Require only strong, unique passwords for employee access, as well as implementing multi-factor authentication practices for an extra layer of protection.

4. Get a unified software platform for security and patch management

Make sure your entire system is more secure by using a single, effective software platform that can manage identity, access and devices in the cloud - as well as managing security upgrades and patching. For example, JumpCloud offers IT admins at any business the ability to control and manage a wide variety of configurations with Zero Trust security to secure your organization.

JumpCloud provides an easy, frictionless solution for small to medium-sized business requirements to hedge against increasing cyberthreats, with several security features to help your business improve its security posture, including:

  • Multi-Factor Authentication
  • Single Sign-On
  • Device Management
  • Zero-Trust
  • Patch Management

Even better, JumpCloud lets customers use all premium features for free, for up to 10 users and 10 devices.

'Any business owner today needs to be aware of and take active measures to protect against cyberattacks,' said Benjamin Garrison, technical evangelist at JumpCloud. 'For any size business, JumpCloud provides an effective solution, all in one place.'

5. Monitor for security breaches

In case of a cyberattack, your business will recover and overcome the loss much more quickly the earlier you can detect the problem. Set up a system for frequent monitoring of your network for any potential breaches, and keep working to defend against them with regular updates and trainings for all staff.

Don't wait until a security breach happens to get serious about cyber defense. Being proactive about the security of your business will be well worth it to defend everything you've created.

JumpCloud gives IT admins a single cloud directory platform to secure all their users in any device environment, wherever work happens. Visit JumpCloud.com to learn more.

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