Key vulnerabilities in SMBs: Devices and people

On one hand, unlike the big business enterprises, SMBs may not always have the financial heft to really invest in cybersecurity solutions, which often leads to that taking a backseat.

Seqrite May 17th 2018

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) have to walk a tightrope when it comes to cybersecurity. On one hand, unlike the big business enterprises, they may not always have the financial heft to really invest in cybersecurity solutions, which often leads to that taking a backseat.

Yet worryingly enough, SMBs may be at more business risk – since they are smaller businesses, cybersecurity policies can, at times, be non-existent or not very stringent leading to a lackadaisical attitude towards the threat by employees. This could be extremely lethal as a breach could completely ground an SMB which has less chance to recover, compared to a well-established enterprise.

Ultimately though, SMBs have to consider two basic things when it comes to assessing their vulnerabilities. It does not really differ too much from a more established business enterprise – devices and people.

Device issues

The importance of device security cannot be underestimated. A single data breach can cause massive financial liabilities for a business which many SMBs will find it impossible to recover from. Especially in the case of startups and other SMBs, the concept of BYOD or Bring Your Own Device is much more prevalent, leading to employees accessing company data on various personal devices. While this may make it easier for the employee, it leaves the data at immense risk as these personal devices may not be as secure and protected.

Additionally, SMBs will rarely have data encryption techniques in place. What this means is that data breaches can often go undetected for months at a stretch. Similarly, the lack of a backup service can also come back and haunt SMBs which means that a data breach could set off a number of disastrous consequences for the company.

Solution: Firstly, SMBs must invest in some sort of Device Control solution to monitor and access their network. Seqrite’s Endpoint Security (EPS) solution offers an Advanced Device Control feature which can prove very useful in these kinds of cases – devices can be categorized as authorized or unauthorized allowing for greater management.

Secondly, apart from investing in an encryption and backup service, business heads at SMBs must also look to invest in a strong Mobile Device Management solution which will allow employees to have the privilege of mobile productivity without comprising the security of the corporate network. There should also an effective Data Protection Mechanism implemented as a defense against these threats.

Insider Threats

SMBs must also cognizant of the fact that their own employees can simultaneously be their greatest asset and also their biggest security risk. As mentioned earlier, SMBs or startups can unknowingly become laxer on cybersecurity measures, leading to greater threats. For example, employees may leave their devices unattended or without a strong password, mainly out of ignorance. For seasoned cybercriminals, this represents a treasure trove of sensitive data which can be utilized for malicious purposes.

In the same vein, employees may often prey to social engineering efforts. They may be unable to recognize suspicious attachments, suspicious links in emails or websites or the tell-tale signs of ransomware. This could allow hackers unsolicited access into systems.

Solution: The main source of insider threats is non-awareness. The first step for employees to fix that is emphasize and re-emphasize the importance of cybersecurity in an SMB startup. For that, quarterly or half-yearly cybersecurity awareness programs should be conducted, which educate employees about social engineering schemes, spotting ransomware and malware, and the importance of regularly changing passwords. There should a proper cybersecurity policy implemented with compliance strictly monitored.

Integrating innovative and advanced technologies like Anti Ransomware, Advanced DNA Scan, Behavioral Detection System, Application Control and Data Loss Prevention, Seqrite’s Endpoint Security (EPS) offers a strong solution for SMBs to deal with cybersecurity problems and keep their data safe and secure.