impact of cybersecurity on smes

Businesses have always been on the radar of exploits and threats that are harmful to the overall image of a particular organization. As a step towards innovation, since the start of the 21st century, the business industry welcomed an interesting concept of regularized small-scale businesses. After an effective and thorough understanding of the concept, these companies began to be called Small and Medium Enterprises – SMEs.

This acceptance of a relatively new concept helped people understand and analyze one of the most important concerns for modern-day businesses – cybersecurity threats.
Today, we are going to discuss the impact of cybersecurity on SMEs.

Due to the expansion of the business radii, more and more people started getting exposed to mainstream data protection issues alongside a multitude of scams. This is how people started to accept and realize the impact of cybersecurity on SMEs.

How to cope with the impact of cybersecurity on SMEs?

Cybersecurity and its effects can be excitingly overwhelming for business managers to comprehend. Due to the lack of not having a technical background, it is understandable for business managers to freak out on data breaches.

Therefore, in order to strengthen my business readers, I have prepared a detailed guide to combat the impact of cybersecurity on SMEs.

Point out the vulnerabilities

impact of cybersecurity on smes

In pursuit of developing a shield from cybersecurity, you first need to identify your vulnerabilities. The most important step in overcoming your weaknesses is to identify and accept them. Therefore, formulate a detailed analytical research of what kinds of data resides in your company’s possession to understand what do you need to protect.

You can start the process of identifying your vulnerabilities by pinpointing on the major data points that benefit your company. Now, these pieces of data could be anything, ranging from classified customer data, inventory management analytics, financial details, and whatnot. When you list down the sources where you store these pieces of data, the risks will start coming to you, automatically.

Now, to cope up with the impact of cybersecurity for your business you will have to enlist all the processes that are carried out on your data such as collection, storage, and the disposal of your data. Be sure not to miss any transit point(s) which might serve as a leakage point for a possible penetration.

Ensure the safety of your digital devices

Although the digital world has gotten better at implementing security, the data breaching and security penetration techniques have improved too. Due to the excessive need to be connected to the internet at all times, the devices are now prone to attacks more than they ever were. Therefore, in order to tackle the inevitable impact of cybersecurity on SMEs, you might want to focus on the tips below.

Keep your software(s) updated

impact of cybersecurity on smes

In the modern age, it is a given that your systems should be well updated to ensure you possess the latest security mechanisms to shield yourselves from the possible attacks.

In case you are yet to do it, this should be the very first step. By ensuring that your systems are well-maintained and sufficiently updated, you begin the process of minimizing the possibility of leaving any possible vulnerabilities that can be exploited by the attackers.

“WannaCry”, a global ransomware attack, absolutely dismantled thousands of victims involving renowned organizations such as FedEx and the UK’s National Health Service. Just days before the attack, Microsoft had released a patch via a software update that fixed the vulnerability for its users, but due to the delay of many system administrators in updating their systems, they were exposed to the attack.

Setup a Virus Protection Mechanism

impact of cybersecurity on smes

Secondly, setup a virus protection mechanism to ensure you are prepared whenever there is an intruder inside your system. One of the most important aspect while understanding the impact of cybersecurity on SMEs is that new companies are prone to vulnerabilities as compared to established organizations due to their weak and small-scaled infrastructure.

Virus plays a vital role in dismantling the SMEs’ infrastructures. The malicious programs that often visit uninvited are capable of massive amounts of damage!
Since majority of the users fail to identify them, they get the liberty of gaining access to the files and can manipulate them with great ease.

While there is no perfect way to prevent virus entries, you can benefit from the basic steps that are pretty much enough to preserve your computer.

Firstly, you can start by installing antivirus software on all the work computers. It will help you single out any and all kinds of viruses that might be present in your system by performing a series of systemic scans. Upon identification, it notifies you to take any action against them which is generally amongst the two options: quarantine or delete.
Although antivirus software is supposed to fight the viruses, it still needs regular software updates to ensure it is ready for new and enhanced viruses.

Secondly, the usage of a VPN to access the internet can be highly beneficial in terms of security as it provides an extra layer of security. The introduction of a VPN service will effectively help companies to combat the impact of cybersecurity on SMEs.

Ensure the protection of your data

Data is undoubtedly the most valuable thing present on the internet today. For a company, the recorded data of all its activities, consumer records, customer interaction records, and all kinds of information is the most important asset.
In the event of data loss, companies tend to breakdown due to their desperation of not having their required customer contact information, inventory analysis, and other essential forms of data.

Let’s see how the impact of cybersecurity on SMEs can be minimized by ensuring the safety of your data.

Performing data backups should be a priority

impact of cybersecurity on smes

Data backups are a lifesaver. Imagine facing the tragedy of losing your data and realizing you did not have any copy of it. Scary, right?
This is why the majority of the gigantic firms reiterate the importance of data backups.

Backups can be performed in two ways:
Full Backup – You make a copy of the entire data and transfer it to someplace safe.
Incremental Backup – You continue adding data incrementally since the last time you backed up your system.

According to the IT pundits, the best practice is to combine both methods to ensure you perform full backups periodically while making incremental backups at a significantly higher frequency.

Encrypt the confidential digital information present on the cloud

impact of cybersecurity on smes

In the modern digital age, the majority of the companies are habitual of maintaining their company’s data on a cloud-based platform. Why do they do that, is a debate for another day.
These cloud-based platforms can be generic cloud-based storage systems such as Google Drive, Dropbox, or a specific platform like Salesforce.

The impact of cybersecurity on SMEs can be improved towards positivity by implementing a systemic encryption mechanism for the company’s data on the aforementioned platforms.

Generally, we are under the impression that storing our data on the cloud means it is present in some kinds of a void, virtual space, which is not the case. This is why it is recommended to properly inquire about the security parameters provided by the cloud-based service you are using.

As it was mentioned earlier, the easiest way to ensure the security of your data is to implement a regularized encryption mechanism to encrypt your files manually. By doing this, you will not be dependent on the security protocol(s) of your cloud-based service and can be certain that your data will remain secure.

We do not claim for these measures to be perfectly useful for all kinds of business situations. However, considering the comprehensiveness of the guide, you can be sure that the things that are relevant to your business will surely improve the impact of cybersecurity on SMEs.

Cybersecurity threats are constantly improving, and so are the hackers’ skills. Yes, it is becoming difficult to combat the advanced and creative tactics of sabotaging complex, secure systems, but if you follow the basics right you can fight them.

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Dawar Hasnain

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