Digital technology and modern IT solutions have completely changed the way businesses operate and have influenced the way markets function. Initially, computers and digital devices such as Point Of Sale systems, electronic cash registers, and inventory management systems were digital replacements for tasks that were previously done manually. 

These digital solutions offered more productivity, fewer chances of error, and less dependence on a human workforce.  

However, as computers and the internet have grown more complex, the digital infrastructure of a business has come to play a fundamental role in the success of the organization. Modern businesses use many kinds of software and hardware which on one hand can be simple to use, but on the other may require complex processing to keep them running. 

These systems make business possible in today’s day and age when businesses are run remotely, markets are online, and clients are heavily dependent on smart devices. These days, IT support services from companies like EC-MSP are needed by organizations of every kind to keep their technology up-to-date and running smoothly.  

E-commerce and digital solutions offer a plethora of advantages and features to businesses, though they also put them in the path of many potential risks. 

Unfortunately, digital markets and networked solutions have security concerns that can be exploited by cybercriminals to steal information, data, and money. In 2018, 58% of all cybercrime victims were small businesses. 

These are perfect targets for cybercriminals, as they offer a decent amount of value and have close to no online security solutions in place.

Many small business owners underestimate their value in the eyes of an attacker and are under the impression attackers will only go for high-value companies that they can gain large amounts of data from. 

However, it’s much easier for attackers to invest their time and effort into hacking several small businesses rather than one big company, which requires significant work to penetrate.

Whether small or large, all kinds of businesses can fall prey to a cyber-attack; however, smaller businesses have a smaller chance of recovering from such an event. According to statistics, 60% of small businesses that are victim to a cyber-attack are likely to close within six months. 

Depending on the nature of the businesses and the attack, recovery can be impossible. For a business, it is much easier and cheaper to set up a security protocol that will safeguard the business from an attack rather than needing to reconstruct the entire infrastructure after an attack.

Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic of 2020, an increasing number of businesses are transitioning towards the digital marketplace and employing IT solutions to help them continue operations remotely. These steps are important to keep their business alive during these unprecedented times, though it’s critical to pursue these methods with the right precautionary measures to ensure longevity of the business. 

Cybersecurity doesn’t need to be a lengthy and expensive process, and small business can significantly improve their defense using some basic strategies.

Team Training 

Every employee, every device, and every network is a potential infiltration point for an attacker. To ensure all-around security, your entire team needs to work together to strengthen the whole network. Your team should know how they must store information and secure their workstations.

Whether they’re using a personal smart device or a company device, they should use strong, unique passwords. Wherever possible, everyone should have two-factor authentication in place to improve account security.

Stay Updated

Updates for devices and software are very important when it comes to security. Not only do they improve performance, but they fix safeguard the user from security breaches which the older version may be prone to. 

If possible, a team member should be dedicated to searching for updates and ensuring all devices and software are running the latest available versions. Employees should also be urged to keep their devices and apps updated.

Cloud services and cloud-based software is often automatically updated by the service provider.

Have Multiple Copies 

Cybercriminals are often after client information and company data. If they can’t make money by exploiting the data itself, they can delete, encrypt, or corrupt it. Having a backup of your data protects your business from data loss, which can be difficult to fix, and the information may become permanently lost.  

Businesses should keep multiple backups of data in different locations. One backup can be on a hard disk or portable memory while the second backup is kept in a cloud-based solution. The data can also be broken up into different parts kept in different locations so that a breach in one location does not compromise all the data.

Data in all locations should either be secured with a password or encrypted. 

Access Rights 

Many times a cybercriminal gains access to the company network or database through a team member’s device – not through a direct attack on the company’s network. If the compromised device has access to the entire network, the attacker can do anything.

Rather than having unrestricted access, each member should only have access to what they need to work on. Each member should have a dedicated machine they work on, and a work computer shouldn’t be taken home and used casually. 

This will considerably decrease the exposure devices have to third parties and reduce the risk of an attack. Each employee account should also be protected and require a login when they access work. Remote employees should connect to the network through a secure connection. 

These are just a few simple steps SMEs can follow which are easy to implement and don’t require significant capital investment.