Cybersecurity is a topic on the minds of many business owners these days. Stories of serious customer data breaches become almost routine.
The apparent ease with which hackers can gain access to private networks and wreak havoc is disturbing. And unfortunately, as every successful cyberattack demonstrates, no one’s data is completely secure. For example, the Associated Press recently published a study indicating that public confidence in a secure Internet is eroding.
Business owners in particular, especially SMBs, should do everything they can to protect customers who entrust them with their private data.
Threats are becoming so numerous and fluid that what is needed to fight cybercrime is no more task for SMBs. Rather, it is a state of being to be achieved: cyber-resilience.
What is cyber resilience?
A cyber-resilient organization has assessed the threat landscape and concluded that its response must go beyond mere defense and survival. Achieving cyber resilience means that a company strives to implement all necessary cybersecurity measures and:
- Instills in team members the importance of their role in the fight against cyberattacks
- Committed to investing and realigning company values to include an essential component of cybersecurity
- Automates repetitive cybersecurity tasks, such as data backups
- Continuously improve internal cybersecurity processes and systems
- Engage with the wider cybersecurity community to learn and share trends and attack strategies
- Explores outsourcing opportunities with MSPs or the IT pro community to relieve small business owners and staff of the stress of running a cybersecurity program
Cyber resilience embodies a shift in mindset that places cybersecurity not only at the forefront of an organization, but also central to its operation.
Cyber resilience explained
It can be difficult to define cyber resilience without confusing it with cybersecurity. The two are intimately related, but they are not the same.
Cybersecurity in the context of cyber-resilience
Cybersecurity is like digitally building walls, closing gates, and issuing keys only to authorized people. Cyber resilience, on the other hand, leaves tangible security measures like firewalls, passwords, and administrator roles in place, but adds a belief system that expands the perspective from which organizations see Security.
SMBs and organizations that have started on the path to cyber resilience are beginning to think about leveraging all the tools and tactics available to help uncover and thwart cybercriminals. As a result, the owners and staff of these organizations no longer view cybersecurity as an unpleasant but necessary chore. Instead, achieving cyber resilience requires cultivating a desire to practice due diligence and good cyber hygiene, not because they are company policy, but because they are the right things. to do.
Cybersecurity essentials for small businesses
With such a daunting cyber threat landscape, it’s tempting for many small business owners to adopt a defeatist attitude toward cybersecurity. The scale and mass of cybercrime make it seem unstoppable. Additionally, cybersecurity initiatives can often appear as insatiable “money pits” that never offer a guarantee of security.
Realistically, however, there are reasons for optimism. Although perfection is impossible, companies can achieve a healthier level of cybersecurity by implementing a comprehensive program of common sense procedures.
Cyber Security Basics
In addition to traditional rules-based, hardware-driven protection, modern enterprise security relies heavily on human defenders.
The first step for SMEs that want to achieve at least a minimum level of cybersecurity is to commit to certain basic standards.
Keep software up to date
Many attacks exploit outdated software that contains vulnerable code known to hackers. However, performing regular and timely software updates and applying released patches to operating systems can thwart many attacks before they begin.
Promote employee safety training
Awareness kills most attempts at social engineering. Business owners must cultivate a culture of mindfulness surrounding the tactics used by attackers to navigate networks. Keeping up to date with the latest programs helps everyone in an organization stay on their toes and stay focused on the threat landscape.
Invest in cybersecurity tools to streamline cybersecurity management
Cybersecurity tends to suffer when owners and staff are too busy to maintain thorough programs. Fortunately, SMBs don’t have to rely on IT staff to handle the coordination of cybersecurity defenses. With the Avast Business Centera cloud-based security platform, businesses can easily and centrally manage their Avast security solutions and secure their devices, apps, data and networks, eliminating the need for dedicated IT staff or a external assistance.
Fundamentals of Cyber Resilience
Moving from a cybersecurity-only perspective to one that incorporates the need for cyber-resilience does not happen overnight. However, companies can improve their position immediately by taking positive action in several critical areas.
Focus on training: SMEs can help initiate cyber resilience by changing their view of cybersecurity training. For example, owners can’t afford to adopt a “train once and forget” attitude when it comes to cybersecurity. Instead, owners should explain to employees that exploring cybersecurity topics is an integral part of their job, not an add-on learning activity. Additionally, training should progress to the level of practicing live cyberattack drills and include extensive role-playing scenarios to keep social engineering defenses on point.
Establish comprehensive cybersecurity response procedures: Cyber resilience is about taking the negative reality of endless cyberattacks and using them to learn how to respond. To do this, companies must work with cybersecurity experts to establish daily practices and response plans before an attack. Additionally, to achieve cyber resilience, companies must become adept at working seamlessly with specialized third-party vendors, while gathering useful insights on how best to defend their businesses against cyberattacks.
Look at what your partners are doing: In a connected world, no one is isolated. Suppliers, vendors, third-party business services, and anyone with access to your network can serve as an easy conduit for cybercriminals. Build relationships by sharing what you do with your partners and expect them to help protect the safety of all stakeholders involved.
Cyber-resilience: Next steps
One of the biggest challenges for SMBs is finding the time to stay informed about the latest attacks and how to prevent them. Unfortunately, most small business owners don’t have the resources to hire IT staff. It therefore often falls to individuals to do the work typically reserved for teams of trained cybersecurity experts.
Avast is a cybersecurity leader, providing tailored solutions to meet the growing needs of SMBs. The cloud-based management platform allows owners to configure device protection, manage subscriptions, and add devices anytime, anywhere. Plus, Avast’s award-winning antivirus protects against malware, phishing, ransomware and other cyberattacks, and secures personal, business and customer data from theft.
Going from basic cyber security to a place of cyber resilience is a big shift for small businesses. Avast offers simple, powerful and affordable cybersecurity – an ideal solution for those organizations looking for protection that protects them while allowing them to stay efficient with their time, especially if they do not have dedicated IT resources. Additionally, Avast offers 30-day free trials so businesses can try our security solutions before they buy.