A little cyber hygiene goes a long way towards protecting yourself and the business.
While there is no foolproof strategy to stop cybersecurity attacks, each one of us can play our part in strengthening cyber defences. Here is a list of cyber safe habits for SMEs to follow and employees to keep in mind.
3 Key Cyber Safe Habits for SMEs
1 | Have protection plans in place
Set up a cybersecurity strategy with at least basic levels of protection such as firewall management, anti-virus, and anti-malware software. To minimise business disruptions and facilitate swifter disaster recovery, ensure plans are thoroughly documented, and continuously reviewed and tested. This includes your security and data backup policies and processes, and data breach management plan. It is important to clearly define each individuals’ responsibilities and be agile enough to adapt to new cyber threats and security technology changes. Appoint someone in-house as your Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) for accountability and partner an outsourced provider for added support and to beef up the technical expertise and knowledge necessary to manage your security, data and compliance needs.
2 | Improve employee security awareness
Educating and encouraging employees to put the security guidelines into practice can reduce cyber risks by as much as 70%1. However, many a times businesses do not prioritise security awareness activities or worse perceive them as a waste of time. Instead of just making employees sit through an hour a year of training, you can help your business instil a security culture by taking the time to explain to employees why they are required to do things a certain way. The key here is to facilitate a culture shift towards understanding the importance of security and the need for everyone to play his or her part. Culture changes happen gradually but it is definitely worth the time and effort to strengthen your first line of defence against cyber threats.
3 | Adopt a Zero Trust cybersecurity posture
The motto of zero trust is to ‘Never trust, always verify’. Do not trust any activity in your network without strict verifications and proactively monitor for suspicious activities. With the rise of remote work, security controls such as securing your devices, network segmentation, enforcing a strong password policy as well as multifactor authentication, can safeguard your sensitive information against unauthorised access. It is impossible to secure everything with limited resources and money so the key here is to balance your risks by knowing who is accessing the most valuable data, and how they are being accessed.
Good habits are the foundation of cybersecurity. Besides implementing the right security policies and tools, raising employee awareness on threats and vulnerabilities, could mean the difference between surpassing your competitors and going out of business in the coming years.
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Check out our CISO2SME support.
1 Aberdeen Group & Wombat Security Technologies, The Last Mile in IT Security: Changing User Behaviour.