Cybersecurity Mistakes That Every SMB Must Avoid

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Ransomware gangs, black hat hackers, and trolls are just some of the cybersecurity threats your small business faces. These threats are only more formidable nowadays, with remote working measures inadvertently producing security vulnerabilities.And you can’t afford to make a mistake — while large organizations can sustain losses, just onecybersecurity incident can put a small company out of business. So, examine your digital safety protocols and implement the following tips. 

Don’t Rely on Your Operating System

Whether your business uses macOS or Windows, you shouldn’t rely on your operating system’s security software to keep your data safe. For example, Macs are now getting more malware threats than Windows, including some spyware and ransomware. Meanwhile, Windows baked-in software doesn’t offer the best defenses. For example, Windows ransomware protection crashes software regularly and throws upfalse positives frequently. 

Download special small business antivirus software that offers complete malware protection for you and your endpoints. Additionally, it isolates and stops advanced threats, providing up to 72 hours of ransomware rollback too. 

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Don’t Use Unlicensed Software 

Did you know that many small businesses continue to face ransomware threats from old malware strains because they use pirated software? If your company uses a pirated copy of Windows from 2017, it won’t have the latest security patches that shield it from modern malware. Likewise, if you’re using an old, pirated copy of Microsoft Word, your documents may be more vulnerable to macro viruses. In addition, many hackers use pirated software as Trojans to attack small businesses. Here are some cost-effective ways you can get the software you need without risking your company’ privacy:

  • Get a membership for software discounts
  • Wait for yearly sales
  • Utilize payment plans or low-interest business credit cards
  • Purchase cheaper yet licensed international versions
  • Try free-to-use office tools that are nearly as good

Don’t Use Unreputable Security Tools

Most small businesses that use remote working rules know that Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) can boost security by encrypting data and masking IP addresses. But it’s a mistake to use a free VPN instead of subscribing to a top private VPN since free-of-cost versions use vulnerable technology and often log user activity for third parties. 

Similarly, it’s a bad idea to download any antivirus without checking its reputation. For example, an investigative report by Motherboard and PCMAG found that a popular antivirus was spying on users in 2020 to make money. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time researchers found the Czech cybersecurity firm harvesting data. Experts noted that its browser extension collected data in 2019, forcing browsers like Google Chrome to take it down. 

Don’t Forget Employee Training  

Various studies suggest that more hackers are attacking companies through employee activities nowadays. When employees open phishing emails, fall for social engineering attacks, use unsecured public WiFi for sensitive company work, or download questionable software on company computers, they leave organizations vulnerable to attacks. 

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You can reduce the risk of employees becoming an infection vector for dangerous malware by providing mandatory cybersecurity training. Free online resources or a cybersecurity consultant can help your staff avoid risky behavior. 

There’s too much at stake for you to take your organization’s cybersecurity lightly. Invest in the right software and educational measures to harden your digital defenses. 

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