Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) may be less likely to have dedicated IT support or teams to manage cybersecurity efforts. However, IT management is a vital part of every business. In today’s digital age, almost every company uses digital technology, even something as simple as emails, to communicate with employees. SMEs are still at risk of being hacked, and lacking IT support can signify that you’re an easy target. Here are five signs that your SME could be a target for cyberattacks.
- You Have No IT Support
Without dedicated IT support, SMEs may lack the resources to manage cybersecurity efforts. An IT professional or third-party vendor can help evaluate cybersecurity risks, install antivirus and anti-malware software, and educate on best cybersecurity practices.
- You Work with Sensitive Data
Organizations that work with sensitive information, such as companies in the healthcare, financial, or government sectors, are more likely to be targeted by cybercriminals. Patient health records, customer credit card numbers, and employee Social Security numbers are examples of confidential data that require protection.
Privacy laws exist in various industries to ensure the protection of sensitive data. If this information is stolen in a cyberattack, your company may face significant consequences.
- You Have Hybrid or Remote Employees
The shift to remote work opened up more hacking opportunities for cybercriminals, making businesses more vulnerable to cyberattacks. Remote employees who bring their own devices (BYOD) to and from work or use public Wi-Fi networks are particularly vulnerable to cybersecurity risks.
A recent study suggests that 43% of employees working from home have made a mistake that resulted in cybersecurity repercussions. It’s important to develop a BYOD and remote work policy to strengthen your security posture.
- You Do Not Regularly Update Your Applications, Software, or Systems
Using outdated computer applications, software, or operating systems (OS) is a common mistake that can put SMEs at risk of being hacked. A hacker only needs one old app, software, or computer OS to execute their attack, get onto your company network, and wreak havoc.
Hackers often build their attack strategy around the assumption that SMEs use outdated technology. Ensuring that you have a schedule to install critical security updates is an important part of your cybersecurity posture.
- You Do Not Train Employees in Cybersecurity
Most security problems, especially in small companies, resulting from human error. A worker may click on a phishing link in an email or provide login information to a hacker posing as one of your other employees. Ensuring that your employees are trained on cybersecurity is essential in today’s high-risk cybersecurity landscape.
You can prioritize employee cybersecurity training and even offer incentives or rewards for having good cyber hygiene.
How SMEs Can Strengthen Their Cybersecurity Posture
Thankfully, plenty of online resources can help you and other small business owners improve their cybersecurity measures. Here are a few tips to strengthen your security posture and reduce the chances of being hacked.
- Hire an IT Professional
- Use Digital Solutions to Secure Data
- Develop a BYOD and Remote Work Policy
- Create an Application, Software, and OS Update Schedule
- Prioritize Employee Cybersecurity Training
- By implementing these cybersecurity measures, you can reduce the risk of cyberattacks on your SME. Hiring an IT professional or using a third-party vendor to manage cybersecurity, using digital solutions to secure data, developing a BYOD and remote work policy, creating a schedule for software and system updates, and prioritizing employee cybersecurity training are all effective ways to strengthen your security posture.
SMEs may be vulnerable to cyberattacks due to various factors, such as the lack of IT support, sensitive data, remote work, outdated technology, and untrained employees. SMEs can strengthen their cybersecurity posture by implementing effective cybersecurity measures, such as hiring an IT professional, using digital solutions to secure data, developing a BYOD and remote work policy, creating an update schedule, and prioritizing employee cybersecurity training. By taking these steps, you can protect your SME from cyberattacks and ensure the safety of your sensitive data.