Building an SMB Cybersecurity Strategy From Scratch
There are a few things every SMB needs to do from the start – work out a business plan, recruit employees, start marketing, get financing etc. Without checking every one of those boxes, any new business is off to a rocky start.Now that cybercrime has become such a major issue, it’s time for SMBs to add it to the list. A cybersecurity strategy is something any SMB needs to have from day one. Otherwise, there is the very real risk of an attack, breach, or other incident.
An effective strategy is essential, but SMBs have limited resources.
Here are some strategies to help you build a strategy from scratch without needing a huge budget:
- Commit to Security- Everyone on your team needs to understand that cybersecurity is a major priority. That way they are committed to safety instead of just following procedures. Educating employees about why security is important and how it affects them personally helps the message to stick.
- Invest in Antivirus – A basic suite of cybersecurity tools is a modest cost that returns major protection. Tools like a firewall and virus scanning make it much easier to detect and deflect common threats. With that baseline level of protection in place, SMBs can focus on more damaging threats instead.
- Create a Password Policy – Countless attacks can be traced back to weak passwords. Everyone in a SMB should be required to use strong passwords and change them regularly. Staff should also be trained about the dangers of phishing attacks designed to steal passwords.
- Get Cyber Coverage – SMBs need insurance to protect against common forms of risk. Unfortunately, cybercrime is now one of those risks. Working with cyber liability insurance carriers insulates SMBs from the financial consequences of an attack or incident. Until cyber protections are perfect, this is a reliable way to protect against the worst.
- Develop a Response Plan – Cyberattacks get worse when an SMB doesn’t know how to respond. Develop a detailed plan to guide how you resolve a cyber incident when one is detected. Detail who does what, which procedures and policies to follow, and how to minimize the damage.
- Backup Important Data – Data is the most important asset at any SMB. Backup ensures this data is always accessible and can’t be destroyed. That helps to neutralize attacks like ransomware and empowers businesses to recover faster after other types of attacks.
- Train on a Regular Basis – The best cybersecurity resource is informed and educated employees. If they know how to spot red flags and how to respond, cybersecurity skyrockets. Make sure everyone on your team is trained in best practices and make training an ongoing effort. Quality training costs SMBs very little besides time yet delivers an unmatched level of overall security.
These are the initial elements to a cybersecurity strategy. But a strategy must be regularly updated and evaluated to be effective. Keep monitoring for new threats. Look for holes in your security. Asses cyber insurance coverage limits in the light of new threats. Finally, and most importantly, keep cybersecurity on your SMB’s radar.