Basics of Cyber Security For Small and Medium Business

With the many advantages of online businesses, there are also a various risks.

In the last years, we have witnessed numerous cyber attacks on state institutions, organizations, banks, etc.

Small and medium enterprises have also become one of the most popular targets of cyber attacks. They become attack targets for various reasons, such as lack of understanding of the importance of protection and investment in IT security, or not having enough physical and human resources to take care of security issues.

IT security outsourcing companies are playing a key role to secure and protect data, cash flows and all business IT infrastructure.

Here are some of the most important steps in protecting IT infrastructures for small and medium businesses.

1# Security Awareness

The first line of defense against cyber attacks in the company are certainly the users – employees. By educating and training employees of the importance of data protection, companies can significantly protect their IT infrastructure.

Most companies are hiring external IT partners to ensure that all risks are covered by these parts of the security awareness training. In this way, cyber security partners educate employees on all important topics in their specific area of expertise.

At the basic training, which includes the recognition of phishing emails, the consequences of data leaks, passwords security, data security, and risks of exchanging information online (even in internal communications), employees learn to understand the network and host-based threats, recognizing malicious emails.

Advanced training should be provided per department – different cyber risks may affect the finance department, than the ones affecting technical or sales department.

2# Security patching

Security patching is a level of protection that automates the installment of patches both on a server and individual device levels.

The patching system should modify the product in order to improve its performance or security.

Sometimes updates are providing additional features to the software, making its use wider and making the product better. Patches and updates should be done regulary, but if they not, the system is exposed to hackers and malicious attack. If the updates are always postponed and the patches are not checked on time, the risk is getting bigger. This way of delaying may give more time for intruders to infect the network with malware.

The external IT partner checks for updates regularly so that the individual user does not have to do anything. They only need to restart the machine so that the patches are applied and are installed in the background.

3# Firewall and anti-virus

One of the most important line of the network protection from intruders and all kinds of malicious traffic is certainly a firewall. That kind of protection will stop all kinds of malicious traffic.

If the organization works from multiple locations, IT partner can provide a Cloud-firewall. This way the users can have all their different premises secured with one firewall or one firewall cluster.

4# Email protection

Mails from different servers goes across the Internet and mailboxes. Because of this, mailboxes are vulnerable to malicious attacks, such as phishing and ransomware.

These types of emails require login credentials and emulate banks or organizations to deceive people and steal their information and money.

Mail license, mailbox backup, and multifactor authentication, mail anti-virus, anti-phishing and anti-spam protection are tools for the protection from any kind of malicious sources via mailbox.

5# Intrusion detection systems

Intrusion detection system is an precaution way that can take to prevent IT infrastructure from intruders.

This service includes monitoring, analyzing, detecting the intrusions, and protecting the network.

Host intrusion detection systems and network intrusion detection systems are two methods of gathering and analyzing information from a computer, server, or network. Thats how the network specialist identifying possible threats posed by hackers and crackers inside or outside the organization. Both systems have their advantages and limitations. The best solution is having a combination of both technologies.

6# Secure disk wiping

As each server contains multiple hard drives with databases, over time, during the use they can be damaged, broken of out of the support. In that case the server must be replaced the way that all data is transferred to the new hard drives on the new server and that the data on the old hard drives are securely wiped before delivering to the recycling companies to be disposed of.

Each hard drive must be removed and formatted from the server and rewritten with a new values to be sure the all data are completely deleted. Disks should be removed from the server, put into machine that removes and overwrites it many times to be sure that all data are removed from the disk. This method of data removal is based on internationally recognized standards for data destruction.

Due to the upcoming new generation of cyber-attacks and Malware, each company should be prepared to take steps for the protection of their business environment. The importance of cyber security protection has become a basic need of every company that wants to achive its business strategy.

The point is to build IT infrastructure that contributes to the safety of the information system and the best business experience.

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