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The SMBs Data Security Plan Checklist

Technology is now at the core of most business operations. Be it family-owned shops, small startups, or large enterprises, every business leverages technology to run its business activities. With such increased IT adoption, a data security plan is essential to safeguard businesses against cyber incidents. 

Cybercriminals often challenge the effectiveness of data security practices of small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) as they have weak cybersecurity practices. SMBs are also the worst hit if a cyber-attack strikes as the cost of cyber incidents are astronomically high. 60% of SMBs never reopen after six months of being hit by a cyber attack. 

A well-defined data security process with robust cybersecurity practices can save your business from cyber-attacks. 

A Data security plan to shield your IT system against cybercrooks: 

1. Follow basic security protocols

Sometimes overlooking small security steps can challenge the effectiveness of data security measures. Practices, like setting unique and strong passwords across your organization, keeping software always updated, enabling two-factor authentication, and using a secure wi-fi connection with a firewall, are ways to improve security.

2. Perform a security audit of your IT systems

Conduct a risk assessment of your IT systems to evaluate the security risks to your organizations. Hire an expert to screen your IT infrastructure for security loopholes and get the vulnerabilities fixed immediately. 

You can take a step ahead and perform a penetration test. In this data security process, an ethical hacker attempts to hack your IT system to find the security weak points and suggest ways to bulletproof your IT infrastructure against potential threats.

3. Combat spam and phishing attacks

Cybercriminals use social engineering attacks by sending emails that appear to be legitimate and trap employees to provide company information or click on malicious links. 

Train your employees to identify such phishing emails and report them as soon as they are identified. Adjusting spam filter protection to reduce spam emails and marking messages as spam will also increase the overall effectiveness of data security plans.

4. Deploy a multi-layered security planThe SMB's Data Security Plan Checklist

Multi-level security or Defense in Depth (DiD) is a data security process of adding multiple security mechanisms to prevent a cyber attack. This is done to ensure if one system fails, another is enforced immediately to combat the cyber intrusion.

A typical defense-in-depth data security plan includes:  

  • Endpoint security solutions like antivirus software, endpoint detection, and response (EDR) tools, and privileged access management
  • Patch management software 
  • Network security systems such as firewalls, VPNs, VLANs, etc
  • Intrusion detection tools 
  • Access management solutions like single sign-on and two-factor authentication

5. Train your employees and terminate redundant employee accounts

Cybercriminals often target employees to compromise your IT systems. You can avoid such attacks by training your employees on how to handle cybersecurity threats. Invest in a comprehensive cybersecurity training module that prepares your employees against threats like social engineering, phishing, denial of service, malware, etc.

Redundant employee accounts can also invite cybercriminals. When an employee leaves your company, terminate their company login accounts immediately.

6. Set a login threshold for your website

Cybercrooks use sophisticated tools to attempt a login into your website using thousands of user ids and password combinations. A login limiter that locks an IP address from login in after a certain number of login attempts can thwart such attacks. Make sure your public website is secured using a login limiter.

7. Create a security policy for work from home employees

Devices that connect to your business can also become a security vulnerability if strict security policies are not followed. Ask your remote employees to password protect their smartphones and laptops as well as using secure wi-fi and VPN when connecting to the company network.

8. Delete all files before replacing your storage unit

Storage devices and other IT equipment can be misused to extract data if data is not wiped out completely. You should perform a secure wipe of all old IT devices before you send them for recycling. Technically, a wipe overwrites data multiple times to prevent anyone from recovering data from that device.

9. Screen your third-party vendors for security vulnerabilities

Cybercriminals can exploit security loopholes in your partners' IT system to target your business. Third-party risk management is necessary to avoid such threats. Evaluate the security policies of third-party vendors before you collaborate with them.

10. Always keep your backup ready

Data breaches can halt your business activities causing significant losses. You should have a complete backup of your database stored in a cloud storage facility using which you can easily restore your business operations in case of a cyber attack. From business critical data such as user accounts, financial data, etc., to logical information to structure your database, your backup should include all essential files.

Secure your IT operations with MicroTech  

Cyber attacks are not just a financial threat to your business. Cyber incidents can even put your company out of business. You need 24/7 security to guard your business operations. MicroTech provides just that! 

Whether you need antivirus protection, cloud backup, or professional IT support, at MicroTech, we provide end-to-end cybersecurity solutions to provide 360-degree protection against cyber attacks. Call our cybersecurity expert today and get the best cybersecurity solution tailored for your business. 

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