Uprite IT Services

How to Protect Your SMB from Cyberthreats

Computer keyboard with padlock to illustrate cyberthreats
August 22, 2023

Have you revisited your cybersecurity recently in light of the latest cyberthreats? It’s not something you can put on the back burner! The world is not the same as it was two years ago. And almost without you noticing, your business may have become less secure.

How come?

There are new types of security threats and many more rogue actors engaged in trying to penetrate your small to mid-sized business. That includes both individuals and foreign countries operating through their spy networks.

And if you think SMBs are less at risk, think again! Around 67% of SMBs don’t survive longer than six months after a breach.

In addition, you’re likely to be either part of someone else’s supply chain or doing business with third parties. Any of these might accidentally have given cyber criminals a way into your systems, via their own lapses of security. Not fair but it happens.

So let’s deep dive into these questions:

  • What are cybersecurity threats today?
  • How can you protect your SMB?

What Are the Latest Cybersecurity Threats?

We’re talking about attempts to penetrate your systems to extract either data for misuse or money in exchange for data recovery. Let’s look at three currently strong threats:

1 More Sophisticated Cybergangs

Today’s attackers can now:

  • Buy criminal help such as Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) to hack into your system.
  • Inject malicious SQL commands into your website’s input fields to gain unauthorized access to databases.
  • Use socially engineered attacks to make “fake” look “real” to you.
  • Deploy AI to help them stay undetected.

2 Harvest Now, Decrypt Later Approaches

Worse, with the advent of quantum computing, bad actors don’t even have to decrypt your data now. The cyberthreat is that they can lurk, exfiltrate data slowly, and wait until these new supercomputers can unlock information to use at a later date.

This approach gives criminals advantages such as

  • avoiding immediate detection,
  • bypassing your security measures, and
  • waiting for the opportune moment to maximize their gains.

3 Edge Computing Dangers

The increasing number of remote workers means you have many more “edges” to keep an eye on: not only permitted devices but also “shadow IT” – non-approved devices accessing your systems. Keeping them all visible is key. Otherwise, they’re low-hanging fruit for hackers to exploit.

So – as the United States Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) warned, it’s very much a case of Shields Up when you consider the current level of cyberthreat. Today’s security threats come from every angle!

You therefore need to take into account all types of cybersecurity threats when revisiting your security strategy – and take CISA’s advice to “plan for the worst.”

Let’s move on to how you can best protect your SMB from cyberattacks.

Small Business Cybersecurity Protection

You need documented plans you can implement immediately if your business experiences a cybersecurity breach. This involves extensive planning for

  • backup and disaster recovery plan and how to respond if a breach occurs
  • physical security rules such as access to in-house server rooms
  • repeat testing of your security posture to identify new vulnerabilities
  • security education and training for all employees
  • strict cybersecurity rules for third parties you deal with

All this minimizes downtime and loss.

However, here are the main ways to prevent your SMB being breached in the first place.

1 Avoid Network Security Risks

Do regular audits of your IT and how staff use it – to discover poor practices.

Are staff accessing levels of information they don’t need? Best practice says you should install MFA or, better still, Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting (AAA) to prevent possible misuse of data or fraudulent access.

You can also investigate Zero Trust Network Access. This checks and validates every access request from all users on every occasion. It’s therefore a good barrier against today’s cyberthreats!

2 Keep Software Patched or Up to Date

Avoid falling into what’s known as “tech debt.”

  • Archaic software can rarely be updated and provides an unnecessary risk. Delete unused apps. Patch and update current ones.
  • Update antivirus and anti-malware software to address the newest risks.
  • Use an up-to-date firewall – it’s still a valuable means of monitoring incoming and outgoing traffic.

3 Deploy Network Security Devices and RMM

Both hardware and software can help you manage traffic, provide encryption, and secure remote access. You’ll find remote monitoring and management (RMM) from a managed services provider is an excellent way to keep your network and infrastructure safe.

4 Educate Your Staff

Staff ignorance and carelessness still account for most security breaches. Hold regular training sessions for all staff and cover:

  • Phishing and spear phishing (the latter is targeted at specific staff members, having garnered information about them to sound genuine).
  • Ransomware attacks and how to avoid opening doors to them.
  • Insider threats – noting possible events or security flags that might indicate someone in-house is misusing their privileges.
  • File-sharing – because it enables the installation of viruses or spyware. Make rules about this.
  • Use of Generative AI – remind staff that confidential data should not be put into large language models because they, too, can be breached and lead to violations of not only GDPR and HIPPA regulations but also your own sensitive company data.

5 Share Responsibility for Cyberthreats with Your Cloud Services Provider

You should take responsibility for how your staff use the cloud services you buy. Your provider will have their own small business cybersecurity systems in place – but there are still challenges with cloud and shared cloud usage that you can help avoid with the tips above!

Uprite Can Help with Cybersecurity for Small Business

At Uprite, we pride ourselves on being the cybersecurity partner you can trust. We are a managed IT and cybersecurity provider specializing in solutions to streamline your business and keep you safe from all current and future cyberthreats.

We operate in the Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas areas and have been protecting SMBs from all cyberthreats for over 20 years. Contact us today and let’s talk!

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How to Protect Your SMB from Cyberthreats
Reviewed your cybersecurity recently? The world has changed. Learn about the latest cyberthreats and how to protect your SMB from disaster.

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