Small businesses (SMBs) have historically struggled against cyber-attacks, and the trend has grown at an alarming rate during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a Verizon report, 61% of SMBs have been targets of cyber-attacks in the last one year, and the financial consequences have been in the millions. However, SMBs are often restricted by budgets, something the major players have an edge over. Here are five ways small businesses can save money while strengthening their cybersecurity:
Assess and implement
More often than not, SMBs use standard, free security plugins with no end goal. Security always comes at a cost, so it’s important to perform a risk assessment across the board to find areas that need to be bolstered with a security layer. Having a clear picture is important for SMBs, since each and every investment counts. Each company has unique cybersecurity challenges, and standard solutions won’t help your budget or security.
Use a lean security stack
According to an IBM Security report, companies use 45 different security platforms to run their business smoothly. That’s a staggering number of apps and solutions to perform overlapping tasks. With each new paid enterprise solution added to the stack, you lose money, introduce new security flaws and bring down the efficiency of the workforce.
After performing a risk assessment, you should have a clear idea of areas of improvement and only focus on a handful of solutions to carry out the bulk of the tasks. By going with a vendor-specific suite, you can control all the security tools from a single panel.
Back up everything, all the time
Regularly backing up data may seem like an unnecessary investment for SMBs, but backed up data is the first crucial step towards recovery in case of a cyber-attack. When you use cloud storage to back up company data, financial records, and customer files, you not only get to access critical information from remote locations but also mitigate the cost of downtime.
A well-trained workforce that knows its way around the internet will be more likely to save you from cyber-attacks than untrained professionals. Frequent seminars and training should help employees to stay in the loop of new security developments, attack trends, and ways to address a crisis. Apart from training, using strong and unique passwords, VPN, MFA, and being cautious around payment gateways should help you save thousands of bucks.
Outsource but smartly
Managed IT services have continued to grow during the pandemic and for good reasons. The idea of outsourcing a chunk of your IT security to a third-party vendor at a reduced cost does sound like a good plan, but only when you do your research.
Vetted cyber security experts monitor your network, deploy patches, perform risk assessments and handle sophisticated cyber-attacks day in day out. As a small business, you need to make sure the MSP aligns with your company vision, has a great track record, and can provide the services your business needs.
Most SMBs can save a huge amount of money just by taking small but necessary security measures. For the sake of business continuity, you must include cybersecurity in your company goals and start equipping your workforce with the necessary knowledge.