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2016 Cyber Security: A 4-Step Battle Plan For Small Businesses

4 min read | Jan 13, 2016

As 2015 came to a close, we forecasted the importance of cyber security in the new year. Well, 2016 is here, and as we predicted, online security has been all the talk. In the aftermath of a government hack and a health insurance data breach, there is no doubt loads of trial and error in our future. But one hypothesis requires little experimentation: security threats are coming, and they’re coming from all angles.

Operation Cyber Liberation

Unfortunately, it’s no longer an issue of eliminating risk. Rather, it’s a matter of minimizing exposure and taking the proper security measures to manage that risk. To help maintain and protect your most valuable data in the new year, Benton Technology Solutions has developed a battle plan to help your small business win the war against cyber hackers.

Threat #1: The unknown

As data becomes more and more virtualized each day, businesses are suffering from alarmingly murky understandings of their IT infrastructures. Whether they misjudge the quantity of data in their possession or are working off an outdated interpretation of their networks, such confusion typically leads to loopholes which attract hackers.

Battle Plan #1: Perform an IT audit

Taking stock of your inventory with an IT audit provides an accurate illustration of the strengths and weaknesses in your infrastructure. You’ll learn which patches you need, where to allocate IT funds, etc. Ultimately, your company’s cyber makeup will function more efficiently and securely.

Threat #2: Wearable technology

Oh the Fitbits, Apple watches, smart TVs, WiFi cars…! Where will it end? Never, if the hackers have anything to say about it. Why? These gadgets are fueled by user data, but the large companies behind these innovations tend to disregard security. Thus, mountains of personal information can be collected without obstacle. Chances are some of your employees own one of these tech items. If so, they could be welcoming these cyber criminals into your business with open arms.

Battle Plan #2: Segment your most important data first!

To combat the exposure that comes with wearable gadgets, you should allocate your company’s most valuable/sensitive data and segment it apart from the rest of your business information with an elite level of protection. Network segmentation helps keep your critical data hidden from online threats and makes it more difficult to hack.

Threat #3: Employee error

According to a 2014-15 report from Forrester’s, 46% of security breaches were caused by employees¹. We aren’t saying that employees are the main culprits here, but there is evidence that suggests unknowing employees are vulnerable when it comes to data security. They can lose work-issued devices, mistakenly share passwords, fall for email phishing schemes, and more. This makes them easy prey for internet hackers.

Battle Plan #3: Mandatory cyber boot camp

Make no mistake, supervisors who neglect regular security training for their employees are equally, if not more at fault in the event of such a breach. To fulfill your due diligence and protect your business on all flanks, be sure to implement routine cyber security training. If your current security protocols are dense and impractical, consider switching to more user-friendly policies.

Threat #4: Mobile vulnerability

As the mobile era thrives, so too does mobile malware. What used to be a mere theory is now a tangible reality with mobile hackers posing a more palpable threat than ever before. From a business perspective, hackers are accessing digital documents through company-exclusive apps, insecure devices utilizing company networks, and more.

Battle Plan #4: Implement threat intelligence

To better interpret and deflect the flurry of threats in your network’s digital vicinity, invest in a comprehensive mobile security plan – one capable of real-time event intelligence and automatic active response. This way you’ll be able to detect infractions and respond immediately with built-in response codes.

Learn more about cyber security and how to be prepared here.

Let Benton Tech lead the charge!

The experts at Benton Technology Solutions are trained and eager to lead your business into 2016. Contact us today to get started protecting your company!

¹Understand The State of Data Security And Privacy 2014 To 2015, Forrester