SMBs – Antivirus Just Not Enough

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Small and medium size businesses mainly known as SMBs are focused towards growing. Spending on security software is not one of their priorities. But just like every other business, protection of their data and systems are equally important. The perception that since the business is small all they’ll require is an anti-virus, is not right. Their endpoint is just as vital as any other large scale businesses.

endpoint securitySMBs fight to stay ahead of the competition and attain profitability trajectory. To achieve this success, it’s important to ensure data safety. What SMBs lack is enough workforce or time to devote to it. Even after being aware of various risks and threats that they may face, many SMBs ignore this. Cyber criminals eye on SMBs just as much as they eye on big firms. In fact, it’s easier for them to attack SMBs.

Internet threat reports show that in 2012 small businesses with less than 2,500 employees were the main victims of targeted attacks. This was a 13 percentage points increase from 2011 and the attack rate considerably increased up to 44 percent in 2014. The trend continued in 2015.

Web and email are 2 basic vectors for current attacks on small and medium sized businesses. An employee can visit a malicious website or open a spam email without being aware of the threat waiting to attack. The infected device acts as a path for attackers to take over the company network and steal data, thus compromising security. Web applications which enables site break-ins is a practice often seen in small businesses. This act leads to unsuspected malwares entering the system in the form of messages or pop-up windows. Hence firms must ensure that the applications used must not breakthrough to the devices in the form of malicious threats or viruses. If they engage in online delivery services that’s another area to focus on in terms of maintaining security.

Over time, the volume of data of the small and medium-sized businesses will increase and they need to protect this information from being a target to the threat. The single security mechanism i.e., antivirus can easily be evaded in today’s highly connected and data-driven network.

It’s important to secure business assets against malwares, spam, and other threats. Leave endpoint security, most of the firms haven’t employed anti-virus protection. But an anti-virus alone is not enough to fulfill the security requirements. Anti-virus is a reactive technology. It doesn’t work until an attack happens. Prevention is better than cure. What these SMBs require is a multi-tiered protection, a complete endpoint security protection software that is cost-effective, easy to deploy and manage, which detects threats in advance and reacts and responds immediately preventing the devices from attacks and vulnerabilities. Solution providers consider this as an opportunity to help protect SMBs from external security threats, system failures, and intrusions.

Few pointers that SMBs can focus on to protect themselves from risks and threats:

  • Assess possible threats that your business can face and create a security plan
  • Assess vulnerabilities daily and deploy security updates
  • Apply best-practice security measures and ensure no deviation to compliance benchmark
  • Provide training about threats and risks and educate staff on safe social media practices
  • Protect against malware, viruses, spyware and other malicious threats
  • Limit physical access to your computers and create user accounts for each employee
  • Secure Wi-Fi networks
  • Limit employee access to data and information, limit authority to install software
  • Create passwords and authentication
  • Install encryption software
  • Ignore suspicious emails
  • Rini Thomas
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