Four Easy Ways for Small Businesses to Defend Against Cyber Threats

October is Cybersecurity Month. If you think about cybersecurity (and for a lot of business people, it may not be top of mind), you probably think about password protection. But there are other important tech tools such as antivirus software and firewalls that are all great ways to protect and defend your network from cyber attacks. Experts agree they are, in fact, essential to being proactive against cyber threats. For small businesses, the front line of defense from such threats as phishing and malware begins with the business owner. 

Here are some ways to be proactive about cybersecurity:

  • Enabling two-factor authentication: With two-factor authentication, you strengthen security by requiring two methods to verify identity. You might, for instance, enter your username and password and then be asked to verify your identity through a smartphone app.
  • Using strong passwords: While everyone generally knows to use strong passwords, to ensure that passwords are strong and changed regularly, some people use password management tools like LastPass, which manages passwords for you, is automated and works with all browsers.
  • Recognizing and reporting phishing: Stay alert to suspicious emails that may mimic employers’ or friends’ emails. These phishing emails often have links or attachments in them that can unleash malicious software or steal vital information.
  • Updating software: Not only does updated software help your computer run smoothly, but also updates frequently have security patches installed that help prevent incursions from malware. Security patches plug any holes that might exist in your current operating system, providing added protection against viruses and other malware. Automatic updates will install these patches and prevent the flood of issues with security, compatibility, and usability that often occur without the updates.

If the importance of cybersecurity and alert to threats is not on your radar, it’s unlikely that your computer network is protected from attacks. Your online information and privacy are at risk. For your business, it means data like account numbers as well as your reputation and bottom line are at risk.

Protect Your Data & Your Bottom Line with IT Security

One of the main services NerdsToGo provides is security and protection. When you have good protection and an attack occurs, it’s more likely your system can be restored, whereas if you have no protection, attacks can block you from your data and damage your bottom line.

“One customer we were providing data backup and RMM (remote monitoring) services and we were able to restore their system in about four hours without any loss of data after they were hacked,” said Angel Soto, owner of NerdsToGo of Henderson, NV. “On the other hand another one of our customers did not have us do RMM or backup and they were hit with ransomware. Their data is still locked up. They have lost weeks’ worth of work and years’ worth of data that they may never recover. We are currently onboarding them to NerdAssure. They will have spent well over $20K to recover from the hack.”

As we head into October and National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, it’s important to remember that cybersecurity is more than just about computers or cell phones or other devices, it’s actually all about people from employers and employees to home users to the bad actors trying to hack into your devices and steal data.

It’s for this reason you have to “See Yourself in Cyber”, which according to CISA (Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency), is the theme of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. You have to stay aware of the best ways to protect your devices from cyber attacks.

Cybersecurity Is Essential for Small Businesses

Why would a small business, in particular, want to ensure its computers and other devices are protected from cyber attacks?

“Small and medium businesses are prime targets for hackers\bad actors because a lot of them tend to have minimal to no security in place,” said Brian Kane, Senior Director of Technology at NerdsToGo. “Also, they tend to not have a staffed IT person or IT monitoring software so hackers look at them as low hanging fruit.”

Moreover, besides protecting vital data, you’re also protecting your bottom line and even the long-term viability of your business. Once a cybersecurity breach occurs, it becomes more difficult to recover any information or data that might have been lost or corrupted. This means you can lose everything from account numbers to personal customer information to private employee data or anything else. And, according to Inc. magazine, 60% of small businesses go under within six months of an attack.

Stop Cyber Attacks by Partnering with NerdsToGo

Often small business owners don’t know where to turn to protect their systems. Partnering with IT service providers like NerdsToGo help the business owner identify risks and priorities and develop and manage a cyber plan with proven software.

Whether it’s one person or a small business, if you want to make sure your system is protected from cyber attacks, you can get in touch with our friendly team at NerdsToGo.