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Small to mid-size businesses are becoming increasingly worried about cyber threats. And, with good reason—many cyber criminals target SMBs due to their vulnerability, and they often succeed. This is because most SMBs are hardly ever prepared to defend themselves against attacks because they operate under a false sense of security. As a result, cyber criminals gain access to sensitive data, including information about clients and vendors, and exploit it.
If you don’t want your organization to be another statistic of cybercrime, consider adopting the following security practices:
Enforce password policies: Passwords are the foundation of computer security. Good passwords are ones that can be easily remembered by the owner but difficult to guess by everyone else. Some characteristics of a good password:
Assess your current security practices and policies: Find out what your risk level is, what information you need to protect, and how it is currently being protected. Then, consider what additional security measures would enable this information to be fully protected.
Maintain an updated OS: Make sure that there is still support available for your operating system, and configure your system updates to be downloaded automatically. This will make it considerably more difficult for cybercriminals to breach your system defenses.
Educate your workforce: Employees are an important first line of defense. Educate them about secure computing as well as suspicious activity. They should know what to report and who to report it to.
Maintain an updated firewall: Have you had your current firewall for more than three years? If yes, then you need to install a new one, and preferably one with active intrusion detection.
Enforce a separation policy for employees: Create and implement a standard written policy for terminating employee access upon departure from your company. This includes access to office email, HR records, and confidential client information.
Update your anti-virus technology: Your business may already have anti-virus software installed. However, that’s just the first step. You need to update your software continually in order to defend against the latest security threats.
Install an effective spam filter: Emails containing malicious spam should be filtered in order to further protect your system against vulnerabilities and threats coming from phishing attacks.