In the year 2020, hackers and cybercriminals have become ever more prolific as they target small businesses who are having to expand their online operations in the wake of our new digital reality. However, the rise in online activity is not the only reason small businesses are at high risk of a cyber attack. Cybersecurity solutions play an equal part.
Many other factors play into this rise in cybercrime, including the fact that many businesses lack sufficient resources to fund effective cybersecurity solutions. Security is also further compromised by the need for employees to work from home. This means that your company’s network may be spread across more devices, using an increased number of platforms to communicate upon, and more, therefore giving hackers more opportunities to access your data.
However, even though the risks are clearly significant, there’s no need to panic. There are plenty of easy, cost-effective measures you can implement to protect your business against cyberattacks. These include using email filtering and cloud services alongside network assessments provided by a professional managed service provider. Regardless of which cybersecurity solutions you choose to implement, there’s no excuse to let your data protection practices fall by the wayside. The consequences of a potential cyberattack can be severe.
1. Multi-Factor Authentication
Multi-factor authentication (often shortened to MFA) is a security measure that requires a user to provide two or more factors of verification in order to gain access to an online account or an application. It is far more secure than a simple barrier composed of a username and password, as these can be vulnerable to brute-force attacks by hackers.
There are three types of authentication that can be used:
- Knowledge: things you know, such as passwords, security questions, or pin numbers.
- Possession: things you have, such as your phone, a physical badge, or microchip.
- Inherence: things you are, including biometrics like your fingerprint or voice recognition.
Using two or more types of authentication is a reliable way to secure your accounts.
2. Cloud Services
Often, storing your data on cloud networks can be much safer than keeping it locked inside your company’s individual servers. Though this might seem counterintuitive, if you give it a little thought it will make sense.
Major cloud services are provided by large companies with vast resources that can offer many layers of protection, much more than your small business might be able to fabricate on its own. In addition to its superior security features, using cloud services means that your employees will be able to access necessary data from wherever they are, without resorting to potentially insecure methods of transferring information such as email or phone calls.
VoIP stands for Voice Over IP, and it is an alternative to traditional phone systems used by businesses. VoIP works by using a Session Initiation Protocol to compress voice traffic and send it over the internet, essentially taking your telephone system online. VoIP is a cost-effective and secure way to communicate. Traditional phones are surprisingly vulnerable to hacking, whereas VoIP providers are able to offer secure lines including call encryption, whilst handling all your traffic. All you need to do is provide a stable internet connection.
4. Email Filtering
If someone were to ask you what the most common method for transferring viruses is, your mind would probably go first to email, and you wouldn’t be wrong. Some viruses can be activated simply by opening a message, and so the best form of protection is to route dangerous emails away from your company inbox altogether. This is where email filtering comes in.
An email filtering appliance will scan messages on your behalf and send them to your spam folder if they contain certain keywords or potentially harmful contents. This service can be set up to operate as an on-premises appliance or as a cloud service for remote workers. Email filtering is a fundamental part of increasing cybersecurity on devices that are in the possession of individual employees.
5. Network Assessments
When it comes to securing your business network, it’s always best to work with experts. A managed services provider will be able to spot problems and find solutions to weak spots in your cybersecurity solutions that you are bound to miss. They can do this through a process called a network assessment.
This is a holistic service in which a managed services provider will conduct a thorough survey of your security defenses and make sure there are no gaps for hackers to exploit. If they do find any, they will consult with you to help you increase security and the performance of your systems, so you can rest easy in the knowledge that your business is perfectly protected.
Contact us at Axiom today to learn more about how we can help you protect your data.