Most smaller businesses have relied only on anti-virus software and firewall systems for security for many years. These have mostly worked to keep attackers and cyber criminals at bay. But as more sophisticated threats turn attention from larger businesses, governments, and banks to smaller business, it’s time to rethink that model.
Today’s threats acknowledge these trusted security workhorses and proceed right around them. Social engineering attacks such as phishing and ransomware mostly pass by anti-virus unscathed. That is because they are attacking the human rather than the computer. The idea in social engineering is to trick the user into doing something that benefits the attacker. Whether that be running an executable, entering a username and password, or transferring money or sensitive documents, the focus is still on the human. No amount of technology can completely prevent these attacks. And these are just a few examples that show how adaptive attackers can be.
How can you better protect yourself against modern threats to your business? To combat the previous examples, you can provide your employees with regular awareness training so they can spot and stop the attacks. You can also ensure your computer and network systems are regularly patched and replaced when vendor support is no longer available. You may also consider switching to business cloud email service if you haven’t already. Larger cloud providers such as Google and Microsoft employ sophisticated spam and malware blocking tools that are frequently updated. Regular reviews of your firewall system and smart use of its features can also help reduce risk.
Unfortunately, this risk cannot be eliminated, but it can be greatly reduced without significant productivity or cost burdens to your business. Keep up with your risks trough regular assessments followed by projects to fix any flaws that were discovered. This effort will put your business far ahead of most and make you less of a target.