A common misconception among small business owners in Minnesota is that cybercriminals are only interested in Fortune 100 or 500 companies. But that’s not the case. Most hackers’ approach is to “throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks.” Even one strand that sticks is enough for a nefarious actor to see how deep they can penetrate an organization.

Hackers aren’t targeting specific people or organizations. No one can “fly under the radar.” But too many small businesses believe this to be the case – they are not of interest to cybercriminals. This heightens the threat.

In 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission accurately predicted that small- to mid-sized businesses would continue to be a target for hackers because smaller organizations often lack the resources or knowledge necessary to prevent an attack.

This resource and knowledge gap is why we proactively address security during initial meetings if a business owner doesn’t mention it first. We discuss:

  • How attacks could originate for your organization
  • How to balance staff productivity with security risk
  • What we implement to keep our clients secure

Our goal is to uncover risks and determine the best solution for each company we work with.

Security Risks Small Businesses Face

When we meet with small business owners, the two most common threats we scrutinize involve email.

  1. Most are aware of phishing attacks, where hackers try to trick people into clicking links that then infect networks with malware or steal credentials.
  2. Fewer are aware that when another entity you’ve contacted is hacked, your organization is also at risk. Cybercriminals snatch email addresses and business information from contact and employee lists. This increases the likelihood you or one of your staff will eventually be targeted through one of those lists.

How KLH Keeps Clients Secure

Our goal is to keep clients as secure as possible. But we also understand the need to balance productivity, security and operational needs. That’s why a baseline of security is built into our managed services.

For clients who want additional measures we set up further protections like:

  • Mobile device management
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Online file sharing and encryption
  • Employee security training
  • Synchronized security

Companies pick and choose services based on their needs. For instance, mobile device management is a layer of security that gives business owners the ability to wipe data from mobile devices, encrypt files and monitor what’s connected to the network. But, if devices never leave your office and employees don’t access email or business applications on their phones, you don’t need it.

Some organizations may only need two-factor authentication, which adds a second step to the log-in process using a device controlled only by the account holder. It can also be used to turn off access to internet-based applications when your staff isn’t in the office.

Another method for controlling the flow of information is online file sharing and email encryption. Online file sharing allows staff to easily use each other’s files and allows you to back up and secure access to them. With email encryption, you can securely send private business information you don’t want to end up in the wrong hands. If you rarely email confidential data, encryption is not necessary.

Other companies find employee security training most useful. Staff members are the weakest link for any business because, inevitably, someone clicks an infected link by mistake. Training increases your team’s threat knowledge base and is an incredibly effective way to mitigate risk.

Synchronized security connects endpoints and firewalls, providing a comprehensive view of your systems. Instead of seeing incidents in isolation, you gain a holistic understanding of risks and can quickly identify, respond to and prevent attacks.

These are just 5 ways we keep our clients secure. We also offer Dark Web monitoring, hard drive encryption, security and acceptable use policy updates, and annual vulnerability scans.

Reach Out Before a Risk is Realized

Whether the offense wins games and the defense wins championships is a discussion for another day. When it comes to security, though, defense is the play to make if you want to thwart cybercriminals.

Before an attempted or successful attack happens, you want to have detailed business discussions with an IT and security expert like KLH. Through these conversations, you’ll learn more about your options and the security solutions you can implement. At KLH, we’re happy to help with any security matter, including employee-related or network questions you may have. We’ll walk you through the best practices and tools for your situation. Contact us today online or at (952) 258-8200.