Five free ways SMEs can improve their cyber security
According to the UK Government’s ‘Cyber Breaches Survey 2019’, in the last twelve months 31% of micro and small businesses and 60% of medium-sized businesses experienced a cyber attack.
Unsurprisingly, 78% of micro and small businesses, and 92% of medium-sized businesses, now say that cyber security is a high priority. With this in mind, here are five things that SMEs can do to make their cyber security better without spending a penny.
Remember physical security
It is relatively trivial for adversaries to engage in malicious activity once they have gained physical access to a machine or device. This means not only remembering simple things such as locking your office and not leaving your laptop unattended in public, but also ensuring that important documents are shredded before being binned.
Throwing away private information about your company can open you up to phishing attacks, whereby an adversary uses privileged information to trick you into clicking on a malicious link, parting with money, or worse.
Use a password manager and 2FA
With good physical security in place, the next thing to do is to strengthen your digital security. Primarily, this means strong passwords. LogMeIn and LastPass report that 59% of employees haven’t changed their passwords in the last twelve months, while nearly six in ten reuse the same password across multiple accounts. Moving swiftly past the obvious advice to not have ‘12345’ or ‘pa55word’ as your password, the UK’s NCSC, a branch of GCHQ, advise that the ideal password should have at least three random words in it.
Free password managers are a great way of ensuring each of your accounts has a unique, secure password. Two-factor authentication (2FA) is another great way for SMEs to shore up their organisations’ defences, yet according to LastPass, just 45% of businesses use it.
Of companies that have turned on MFA, 41% have 25 or fewer employees. With a secure password and 2FA, nothing short of a nation-state can realistically break into your business.
Train users on basic cyber security
Insiders, both malicious and negligent, are one of the biggest threats that companies face. According to the Ponemon Institute, negligent insiders and contractors are responsible for just under two-thirds of insider incidents. Stories abound among cyber security professionals of employees who clicked on an obviously malicious link because they ‘wanted to see what happened’.
More commonly, however, the link is clicked on due to nothing more than simple employee error; in other words, they are phished. No matter how many thousands a company spends on its defences, one link can be all an adversary needs to enter a company. Encourage employees not to click on suspicious links, and instead to forward them to the IT department.
Should they suspect they are being phished, seek to verify the sender’s authenticity through another channel of communication. You could even send out harmless phishing emails to your employees, and reward those who correctly identify them and forward them onto your IT team.
Access on a needs basis
The intern doesn’t need to have access to your financial records. Cybersecurity Insiders ‘Insider Threat Report 2018’ reports that 90% of organisations feel vulnerable to insider threat. With 53% of organisations reporting an insider attack, companies see the main risks as too many users with excessive access privileges (37%), and an increasing number of devices with access to sensitive data (36%).
While no solution can ever guarantee complete protection, consider reviewing who has access to what documents, and maybe restrict it. Everyone doesn’t need to see everything.
Take advantage of free software
There are many good, reputable, and free antivirus applications easily available on the Internet. Whilst by no means a catch-all, security from a trusted vendor is better than no security at all. However, SMEs should carefully research which tool is right for their business, and be careful not to download one of the numerous scams purporting to be genuine antivirus.
For more advanced users, open source security tools can also present a free opportunity to increasing Internet security. From network visibility to intrusion detection capabilities, for the money-conscious business the Internet offers a wealth of opportunities for budget-conscious organisations to increase the strength of their security posture.
These suggestions are of course just the basics of good cyber hygiene, and will by no means keep your business entirely secure. However, they will still go a long way towards keeping your organisation safe whilst preserving that ever important budget.
At the end of the day, security issues can be avoided by good cyber hygiene. So, let your employees know what they can do, take care of your organisation’s structural issues, and sort out the basics, and you will dramatically improve your security posture.
This post was written by Senseon. Senseon’s unique AI-led approach to cyber threat detection and response offers security teams unparalleled visibility across their organisations. Senseon detects even the most subtle and complex cyber threats, dramatically reducing false positives.
Industry: Cyber Security News
- CONTRACT SIEM Cyber Security Operations Engineer. REMOTE
- United Kingdom
REFCH8165 CONTRACT SIEM Cyber Security Operations Engineer. REMOTE UK SIEM Engineer. 6 month Contract. Inside IR35 Working towards a "SOC 2" environment. CLOUD (AWS) experience essential. Three key functions; Monitor, Escalate and Triage incidents. Vulnerability Management / threat intel. SIEM configuration / management, review, enhancement More specifically; Work with internal teams to identify assets. Identity applicable threat feeds and work with internal teams to remediate. Patch Patch Patch. (Help mature process / identify gaps) Configuration / fine tuning of SIEM alerts. Create dashboards, Compliance reporting. Log ingestion. Experience across ISO27001 / SOC2 / SIEM / End Point Security is essential Contact me today for more information Chris.Holt@dclsearch.com Or 07884666351
- Cyber Security Operations Engineer. REMOTE UK. SOC2
- United Kingdom
REF8164 Cyber Security Operations Engineer. REMOTE UK Internal opportunity. New position. Exclusive to DCL Search. You will be the hands on technical eyes and ears of the Cyber security capability actively working to ensure and enhance the adherence to ISO27001 and "SOC 2" controls. You role will touch on the following · Security Monitoring- SIEM · Vulnerability Management / Testing · Incident Management · Asset management · Disaster Recovery planning · Change Management AWS Cloud experience is essential as is the ability to ensure patch management is prioritised across the business. Any CLOUD SIEM experience highly desirable. Contact me today for more information Chris.Holt@dclsearch.com Or 07884666351
- Lead Security Architect
- United Kingdom
Engage with key clients in an Architectural / technical presales capacity. Including Stakeholders, end users / partners. Working on new and existing Security projects to confirm that proposed solutions are fit for purpose from both a technical and regulatory capacity. Working closely with multiple vendor . Managed security service background ideal CLOUD Security (AZURE OR AWS), IDAM background ideal.
- Threat Vulnerability Management Analyst
- United Kingdom
To monitor, identify and alert internal teams of cyber threats and vulnerabilities. MIRE Att&ck, CIS, OWASP, Vulnerability management tools MUST be able to commute to central London MUST be able to achieve UK SC Clearance. On going support and development.