Cybersecurity should be high on the agenda for all businesses in 2022. In some small and medium enterprises (SMEs), security can be seen as an afterthought or may not have the resources or skillset in-house.
It’s important to protect your business now and in the future. In the last article How to close the security gap for small and medium size enterprises, we talked about the challenges that SMEs face, here prof Sally Eaves shares her top 12 cybersecurity tips to help them and their employees:
Tip #1 – Keep software up to date
Software providers release updates for a myriad of reasons including enhanced functionality, bug fixes, and security patches. Ensure your software is continually updated to the latest version as and when it becomes available.
Tip #2 – Automate your security compliance
With over 1,000 different laws impacting cybersecurity, privacy, and governance globally today – and growing – this can create a complexity challenge. Deploy automation wherever possible to better visualize, manage, measure, and ultimately solidify your compliance end to end.
Tip #3 – Outdated hardware, upgrade when needed
There is no need to always follow the latest leading-edge technology innovation, but you must at least keep up to date with your software upgrades. With software developers realizing the risk of software vulnerabilities, they offer periodic updates.
However, these new updates might not be compatible with the hardware of the device. This is what leads to outdated hardware, whereby the hardware isn’t advanced enough to run the latest software versions – avoid creating this risk.
Tip #4 – Keep your data safe, always have a backup plan
Keeping data safe is critical, especially the data that exists locally with your employees. Encrypted USBs can be very effective here, helping ensure that sensitive data can be stored and transferred as securely as possible.
Secure data backups are essential for any small and medium enterprise. Remember, malicious threats and hackers don’t always want to steal your data, but sometimes use ransomware where the end goal is to encrypt or erase it. Data recovery resilience is key.
Tip #5 – Use a VPN
Utilizing a VPN for your internet access protects your private information, even from your ISP. Software VPNs are now widely used today and with very good reason.
Tip #6 – Disable Bluetooth
With so many applications utilizing this connectivity protocol, Bluetooth devices can and do get hacked regularly, and are often linked to phishing messages enticing you to “click here” – don’t do it! Disable Bluetooth always only use it when needed.
Tip #7 – Don’t click without thinking
Malicious links can do damage in several ways. It is important to train your employees on how to identify such links. Be sure to inspect links and ensure they are from known trusted senders before clicking.
Tip #8 – Secure your mobile device
It’s not just your office (or home) desktop that needs to be secured. It’s important to get into the habit of securing your mobile device as well. Use strong 2 Factor Authentication passwords and biometric features.