Trying to manage IT with limited resources can leave your Small or Medium Sized Business (SMB) with a big mess to clean up. When you take a reactive approach to IT, solutions are cobbled together quickly, problems go unresolved, threats go undetected, costs continue to escalate, and end-users grow increasingly frustrated.
In the first installment of our five-blog series, “How to Clean Up Your IT Mess,” IV provides best-practice advice for keeping up with evolving cybersecurity threats to minimize the risk of costly data loss and business disruptions.
Cybersecurity must be a top priority for SMBs
When you operate an SMB with limited resources, keeping up with the constantly changing cybersecurity landscape can seem like an insurmountable task. With so many competing priorities, it’s easy to overlook threats or put off simple tasks such as installing software and OS updates, which can leave your business vulnerable. However, if you don’t give cybersecurity the constant attention it requires, you could be putting your business — and your customers — at serious risk.
IV recommends the following three steps to improve your cybersecurity readiness.
1. Consider moving your in-house applications to the cloud
Securing in-house infrastructure — hardware and software assets, networking systems, end-user devices, and more — is a time-consuming undertaking that requires specialized expertise. There’s a lot to consider, especially with new threats emerging onto the scene every day. To protect your digital perimeter, you’ll need to deploy and manage a broad range of detection and defense technologies including firewalls. penetration testing, network monitoring, virtual private network, encryption, and more. If your IT resources are scarce, it’s no wonder it’s difficult to keep up.
When you use a trusted cloud IT provider to host your applications and manage your endpoints, your staff are free to focus on your core business without putting your systems or data at risk. Look for a cloud provider with a proven commitment to security and data protection including 100% uptime, industry-leading intrusion-detection technology, read-only multi site backups, and more.
2. Take multi-layered approach to cyber readiness
Cybersecurity requires strict vigilance to be effective. Employing a layered security approach is advisable because no one product can guarantee protection. This includes hosting your critical applications in an infrastructure with security built into every layer — from the data center, to the network, to the virtual machines. For example, best practices call for implementing security at the:
- Physical Layer: Host your applications in a secure facility built for maximum power efficiency and 100% uptime.
- Network, Server, and Storage Layer: Leverage best-in-class data protection and security tools to keep your most valuable information safe.
- Virtual Layer: Take advantage of innovative virtualization technology with built-in security to ensure uninterrupted service and optimal productivity for your business.
Even with the best security technology and policies, however, there’s no way to fully protect your business against a breach. After all, malicious actors are on a mission and new cyber threats are emerging all the time. That’s why secure and reliable backups are a vital part of any effective cybersecurity program. Multi-site, read-only backups can help you avoid the spoils of ransomware and other cyber-attacks by enabling fast and effective data restoration.
3. Implement cyber awareness training for employees
Keep in mind that an effective cybersecurity program goes beyond technology alone. Risk-aware employees pay a vital role in keeping your business safe. As a result, your SMB needs to create a culture of security in which your employees are aware of common threats, how attackers exploit vulnerabilities, and exactly what can happen if your security measures fail.
Your cyber awareness training should review your security policies, teach employees how to spot malicious activity, and walk them through the steps to report a breach. It’s important that all employees and contractors — both onsite and remote — learn the best practices for keeping your networks and data safe. Everyone on your team needs to fully understand the consequences of failing to follow established security policies, which could include termination, criminal penalties, and irreparable harm to the business.
Minimize cybersecurity risk with IV
Cybersecurity is a serious threat, so don’t trust just any cloud provider with your applications and data. IV understands what’s at stake for SMBs and builds best-in-class security into all our cloud solutions. Our multi-layered Enterprise Virtualization Environment™ (E.V.E.) provides 100% uptime and absolute data protection to provide a secure virtual infrastructure you can count on. As a result, you gain peace of mind knowing that your business, partners, and customers are safe and protected. Contact us today to learn how IV solutions can improve cybersecurity for your business.