With remote work becoming more common, there has been a rapid increase in cybersecurity incidents among small to mid-sized businesses – meaning SMBs need to take steps to guard their data, according to cybersecurity firm DIGIGUARD.
“Managing and monitoring work-from-home (WFH) employees includes cybersecurity risk management,” said DIGIGUARD’s Harvey Yan. “Controlling network access helps protect valuable business and customer data from cyber criminals.”
At a minimum, Yan said, SMBs should do three things to protect their systems from cyber intrusion:
- Secure and update network perimeter defenses along endpoints that access the network, such as computers and mobile phones
- Back up and secure business data for recovery in the event of a cyberattack or system failure
- Train employees to recognize and avoid cyber threats like phishing attacks and malware
When employees shifted to WFH at the outset of the pandemic, hasty IT setups often neglected basic security protocols, DIGIGUARD said.
“Securing the network becomes more complicated when workers access remotely,” Yan said. “Employees may be using various shared personal computers and mobile devices.”
The FBI has seen a 400% increase in reports of cyberattacks since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and ransomware attacks are increasingly targeting SMBs, DIGIGUARD said.
“Most cyberattacks start with an email,” the company said. “Training employees to recognize and report suspicious emails and activities creates a ‘human firewall’ that can prevent or mitigate damage to your business.”