All Hands on Deck
The average person is familiar with the idea of security systems at large organizations: key cards, security guards, and ID badges. Similarly, we have a grasp on some small-scale home security: motion-detecting lights, home cameras, and our physical locks and keys.
What we haven’t come to terms with is that the digital landscape. It isn’t the same as the physical. It isn’t just massive banks or individual homes that might be targeted. In the ever-changing world of cybersecurity, companies of all sizes are at risk and we need to address the issue.
Whether it’s a local coffee shop with an e-commerce website or a marketing hub assisting other companies, practically every company is now digitized in some way. Large businesses that have expansive web presences are typically well secured and often have teams of employees making their cyber defenses strong.
However, many smaller and mid-sized companies don’t typically have security on their minds. Instead, they might be wholly focused on growing the business itself. They assume that cyberattacks are something that larger companies have to protect themselves from. This is unfortunately a massive oversight since mid-sized companies are particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks.
As Mike Wilson writes for Forbes, “with the continued growth in attacks, businesses of all shapes and sizes should heed the advice that it’s no longer a matter of if, but when they will suffer a breach.”
Full Steam Ahead
It is no surprise that the impact of the pandemic on cybersecurity has been massive and negative. As Covid-19 pushed our shopping, communication, and work lives online, threat attackers did their best to take advantage of the additional internet traffic. Hackers realized that remote work provided many new weakened attack vectors. At the same time, businesses around the world transitioned to digital avenues and had even less time to think about security. As Wilson points out, with companies’ attention diverted, “cybercriminals are reaping the rewards.”
Keeping It Ship-Shape
Here are three straightforward tips small and mid-sized companies could do that would greatly impact their cybersecurity defensive stance.
- Call for Help!
It’s completely reasonable for mid-sized organizations to not want to become cybersecurity experts. Instead, they should consider outsourcing to cloud-based services.
There is a growing pool of services available that can reduce the onus of security for an organization. In addition to the benefits of expert, stable, and reliable security, it’s often a more cost-effective route to take.
By outsourcing, a company can reduce the internal resources required to maintain infrastructure and direct it towards the intended business.
- Choose a Captain
Depending on the size and capacity of the business, it’s recommended to designate someone as a security advocate. This doesn’t mean hiring a new full-time professional. It could be an existing IT role allocating some time and resources.
Identifying an individual who can prioritize thinking about the threat landscape and suggest changes for the organization is a necessity. Such a person can help build not only defensive strategies but also backup strategies.
The risk of ransomware increased dramatically in 2020, so taking steps to institute a process if the organization does get breached is reasonable. This kind of plan includes details about data backups or user privacy.
- Care for your Cargo
As Wilson puts it, think about security less as a tick-box activity and more as a product that needs tending and growing. The only thing certain in cybersecurity is change as hackers and defensive experts continually seek new strategies. Organizations in all industries and of any size—but particularly small and mid-sized companies—need to adapt constantly.
Batten Down the Hatches
Your organization’s online security is your responsibility. You don’t have to roll out the cannons to scare hackers off, but companies need to have due diligence when it comes to not making themselves an easy target. Get involved in cybersecurity now, instead of data recovery later.