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Affordable Cybersecurity for Small Businesses: Tips and Strategies

Business Man looking at his wallet

There is a myth that says good cybersecurity is expensive. If you follow that line of reasoning, SMBs are doomed to failure. If you think the word failure seems harsh, considering that 60% of SMBs go out of business after suffering a cyber attack, it isn’t. Surely, there must be something SMBs can do to protect themselves.

The reality is that cybersecurity doesn’t have to be so costly. There are many ways an SMB can protect itself using a little common sense and investing in the right automation tools. Below are just a few of them.

  1. Common Sense/Cyber Hygiene

Good cybersecurity is largely a matter of common sense. Cybersecurity habits can be easily integrated into daily life and may even lead to improved productivity. Using strong passwords and adding multifactor authentication is one of the easiest, and least expensive ways to build healthy cybersecurity habits. Other worthwhile cyber hygiene habits to implement include cyber awareness training, managing administrative privileges and user accounts, and early and ongoing patch management. Additionally, organizations should consider investing in cyber security solutions such as firewalls, encryption, and malware protection to strengthen their overall cybersecurity posture.

Cyber awareness training ensures that all employees know the latest cybersecurity threats. It also helps them to know how to protect their data and the organization's data. Managing user accounts and administrative privileges helps to limit access a user has to sensitive information. Patch management ensures that known vulnerabilities are addressed quickly. Finally, investing in cybersecurity solutions provides an extra layer of protection against malicious actors. This will put your SMB in a good position to ward off threats.

  1. Build a Cybersecurity Focused Culture from Day 1

The more you embed security into your company's DNA from the start, the easier it is to be cyber-focused. Having a security-first mindset helps employees make better security decisions and keeps the entire company more secure. It also ensures that the company is compliant with regulations and that data is secure. Additionally, it provides peace of mind to customers, knowing that their data is secure. Even if you are an established business, it is still possible to build a cybersecurity-focused culture. To do this, companies should create and enforce security policies, educate employees on security best practices, and invest in secure technologies. Companies should also regularly review their security policies and processes to make sure they are up-to-date and effective. Whether your business is new or long established, companies should view system upgrades as an opportunity to correct and strengthen security. Having a tested incident response plan and the right insurance policy is also crucial to mitigate worst-case scenarios.

  1. AI/Automation Tools

AI-powered automation has many benefits. These include increased productivity and efficiency, improved accuracy, and the potential to reduce operational costs. Automation can also help to reduce the time required to complete tasks and increase customer satisfaction. The technology not only relieves security teams of repetitive and monotonous tasks, but also can detect zero-day threats more effectively, predict future threats, reduce false positives, and manage the sheer volume and speed of threats more effectively. In other words, it can help organizations do more and better with less.

Some areas that can be automated include log management, vulnerability management, and incident response. Automation can help reduce the amount of manual work, freeing up time and resources for more important tasks. Additionally, automation can help improve accuracy and consistency, resulting in better cybersecurity outcomes.

  1. Investing in the Right Tools to do the Job

Many larger organizations get caught up in acquiring many tools to get the job done. A study by Anomali found that large enterprises employed over 130 cybersecurity tools. While small businesses used only 15-20, that is still a lot of complexity to manage. Additionally, many of these tools don’t integrate well, creating a lot of work for analysts to make sense of all the data generated. The volume of data is enough that a cyber incident could be missed.

The other problem with too many tools is that many overlap in function, leading to a waste of time and money. It would be better to take stock of what you have and consolidate tools into just a few. Doing this would allow for more efficient use of resources, as well as improved effectiveness of the tools. It would also help to simplify the user experience, making the workflow more streamlined.

As you can see, effective cybersecurity doesn’t have to cost a lot. The best way to avoid cyber threats is to take a common sense approach, build a cyber-safe culture, consolidate tools and integrate AI wherever possible.  By doing this, organizations can reduce cyber-attack risk and protect their data.

Need help implementing sound cybersecurity best practices? Quick Intelligence can provide you with the expertise and advice you need to protect your organization from cyber threats. We will work with you to identify areas of risk and develop a comprehensive cybersecurity plan that meets your needs. Contact us to get started!

Topics: Backups Phishing cyber security passwords Multifactor Authentication Malware Anti-Virus Cyber Awareness