Cybersecurity for small businesses: Affordable solutions for maximum protection

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Many people presume that small businesses are the least likely to be targeted by cyber crime – with so many large and wealthy organisations out there, why would criminals shoot for the small fish? The answer is simple – small businesses are less protected. 

Not only are they less protected, but they’re also less likely to be able to bounce back from the attack. In fact, 60% of SMEs that fall victim to a cyber-attack go out of business within six months (according to Cyber Foundry). 

In this blog post, we’re going to be sharing the most affordable cyber security solutions for small businesses, ensuring maximum protection for minimum cost. 

Cyber awareness training 

In the same way that cyber criminals target SMEs, they also target employees. Employees are essential to your day-to-day operation, and cyber criminals know this – so will actively come after them. 

Without a doubt, cyber security awareness is the most important investment you can make as a small business. Your employees are your first line of defence – as well as your biggest cyber security weakness – so training them will give you the best return on security investment. 

Researchers from Stanford University and a top cybersecurity organisation found that nearly 88% of all data breaches are caused by an employee mistake. While technology is built to do exactly what it’s supposed to do, humans are not. 

Cyber attacks come in all different forms, shapes and sizes, and your employees need to be able to recognise them. This is what cyber awareness training can do for you – after all, how can your workers protect you from a cyber attack when they don’t even know what to look out for? 

At SupPortal, we’re committed to educating employees on what cyber attacks are, what they look like, and how they can be prevented. Our online training programs offer short, engaging videos alongside quizzes, gamification and simulations. As a manager, you can monitor your staff progress with progress reports, and unearth the areas that require more focus. Find out more about our online training. 

Multi-factor authentication (MFA)

Nowadays, with the threat of online attacks increasing daily, a password isn’t enough. Multi-factor authentication is a must. 

It may sound complicated, but multi-factor authentication is very simple – and quick to set up.  It works by immediately deterring anyone trying to access your data via a login by asking them for proof of identity. 

Plus, it’s completely free, so ideal for any SME looking to prioritise cyber security on a budget. 

In order to access an account with MFA (also known as 2 Factor Authentication or 2FA), the person trying to log in will need to authenticate themselves. This may be done via an authenticator app, via a code sent to their personal email address or phone number, or through facial recognition/fingerprint scanning. Therefore, if the person/people trying to access your accounts cannot authenticate that they are you, they will be denied access and you will be notified. 

Phishing simulation tools 

Protecting and preparing is one thing, but testing is another – and equally as important. Testing allows you to see how your employees would react to a real cyber attack, and depending on their reaction, how successful that attack would be. 

With 3.4 billion spam emails sent every day, some of these are guaranteed to end up in your employees inboxes. Would they recognise the red flags of a scam? On top of this, phishing is the most common form of cyber crime, and 83% of UK businesses that suffered a cyber attack in 2022 reporting the attack type as phishing. (Stats according to AAG). 

These simulations, which mimic real-world phishing scenarios, allow employees to experience firsthand the tactics used by cybercriminals without the actual risk. By regularly conducting phishing simulations and providing targeted training based on the results, SMEs can strengthen their defences against phishing attacks at a fraction of the cost of a data breach. 

In-house policies 

This, again, focuses on the people’s side of cyber security. Strict cybersecurity policies are vital for small and medium-sized enterprises looking to tighten up on their cyber security. 

There are a variety of simple yet effective measures that can be put in place by a business, and provided as guidelines to the employees, such as: 

  • Log off laptops when not in use 
  • Avoid leaving devices unattended 
  • Don’t mix business devices with personal devices 
  • Use strong, complex passwords 
  • Update software often 

These policies could make all the difference, and don’t cost a penny. 

Cyber Essentials Certification 

Cyber Essentials teaches businesses how to address and prevent the most common cyber attacks through self-assessment. Understanding basic attacks is vital for more reasons than one, not only does it help you to protect yourself from catastrophic damage, but it also stops you from being marked as a target for more in-depth attention from cyber criminals. If you are seen to know the basics, you are seen as less vulnerable. 

It’s a scheme backed by the government and is operated and developed by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). For small businesses. It’s a fantastic first step towards a more secure network, as it protects them from 80% of the most common cyber attacks and breaches. 

Find out more about Cyber Essentials in our recent blog post ‘What is Cyber Essentials and why do I need it?’

Cyber security with SupPortal 

At SupPortal, we work with small businesses to prioritise their cyber safety. 

Whether it’s a security breach from cyber criminals, viruses, malware or even an accidental employee breach, we can help. We provide a range of CSaaS solutions including Managed Cyber Security subscriptions, Cyber Security Assessments, Cyber Security Awareness Training, Cyber Incident Response and Disaster Recovery.

If you’d like to talk further about how SupPortal can help keep you and your business safe, chat to us.

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DEFEND & PRotect Terms & Conditions

Subscription pricing subject to annual commitment, billed monthly by direct debit.

* Minimum of 10 user subscription, pricing will vary over and above, price shown is per user per year
** Link your own policies to specific video content to reinforce employee understanding of your policies and processes.