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Cybersecurity Practices For Small-Medium Size Businesses


Small-medium size businesses (SMBs) pose as an easy target to the cyber criminals. The reason behind an increased number of crimes against SMBs is that majority of cyber-attacks have an underlying motive of stealing personal data for identity theft and credit card fraud. Since SMB networks tend to be less secure, it becomes easier for the hackers to launch a breach successfully.

As there is an alarming increase in breach incidents, it has become important for SMB owners to pay more attention to cybersecurity. Some cybersecurity practices that SMBs should adopt are:

Document Your Cybersecurity Policies: It is important to document the cybersecurity policies, installed updates, analysis reports, etc. SMBs can make use of online planning guides to initiate the documentation process. Also, many portals offer online training, tips and checklists related to prevailing cybersecurity trends. This is an important step for SMBs to keep a track of their cybersecurity protocols.

Educate Your Employees: As the cyber-attacks are becoming more complex, the cybersecurity policies are also evolving. In addition to regularly updating the protocols, SMBs should define internet use guidelines and establish consequences of cybersecurity violations. The employees that have access to the network should be thoroughly educated about these updates and guidelines. They should be properly trained on security policies and ways to detect malware or infection.

Firewall: Make sure that your employees should use a firewall when accessing business network in office or at home. Firewalls act as fist line of defense against cyber-attacks targeted to access sensitive data. For an additional line of defense, SMBs should consider installing internal firewalls in addition to external firewall.

Mobile Device Security: As the BYOD culture is gaining popularity, most employees prefer using their own mobile devices to access business network and sensitive data. Since employees tend to download numerous applications or software on their mobile devices, they pose as a threat by accidentally downloading malware. A hacker can compromise the mobile device and gain access to the sensitive business data. Thus, educate your employees on the requirement to encrypt their data, install trusted security apps and password protect their devices.

Password Policies: Teach your employees to use strong passwords. You can ensure this by setting well-defined password policies for network access. Also, it is advisable for SMBs to use multi-factor authentication for granting network access to the employees and consumers. SMB owners can also lay out the policy that requires employees to change their passwords after a few months.

Data Backup: Invest in off-shore backup plans to ensure data retrieval in case of any disaster or data loss. Make it a point to back up the data at regular intervals. If possible, consider using automatic data backup settings.

 For more information about cybersecurity practices for SMBs, call Centex Technologies at (972) 375 - 9654.

What Is Distributed Cybercrime?

Distributed cybercrime is a type of attack that is launched on a large scale with an aim to target many victims though the same campaign. Recent attacks like WannaCry, BadRabbit, NotPetya and other cybercrimes have created a havoc, thus highlighting the alarming increase of distributed cybercrimes.

Launching a massive ransomware attack on masses is the most preferred choice of cyber attackers. Such attacks are on rise and as per a prediction by Cyber Security Venture, a new organization will fall victim to ransomware every 14 seconds in 2019 and every 11 seconds by 2021. The number is soaring high and is growing at a fast pace.

What Makes Distributed Cybercrime A Preferred Choice To Cyber-criminals?

A cyber-criminal is not required to possess specialized knowledge of cybersecurity or cryptography to launch an attack. They use sample exploit codes and tools that are available on the dark web.

This way hackers develop malware and malicious software that run on professional platforms. The attack is not targeted to a specific set of people and usually cyber criminals don’t know their victims personally. They are simply interested in the ransomware amount. Their primary victims are individuals and organizations with sub-par security.

Following are some reasons why distributed cyber-attack is a lucrative option for cyber-criminals:

  • Since the distributed ransomware attack is aimed to target masses, it requires less effort.
  • Highly specialized skill & knowledge is not required to launch a distributed cybercrime.
  • There are endless possibilities of earning revenue as every standard endpoint is a potential source of revenue.

Hackers often send an email or website link, which when clicked by the victim installs a malware on their device. Ransomware attacks have affected almost every sector like healthcare, finance, transportation, etc. 

How To Protect Against Distributed Cybercrime?

  • Make sure that your organization meets the baseline security standards.
  • Follow a threat-centric vulnerability management (TCVM) approach.
  • Install an anti-virus software.
  • Update and patch your devices regularly.

How Does Threat Centric Vulnerability Management Work?

Cyber-crimes have been commercialized and so following this approach can significantly help in minimizing the risk of a distributed cybercrime.

  • The first step is assessment and discovery of vulnerabilities within an organization’s system.
  • Next step is threat intelligence research to consolidate and understand which exploits are active, available or packaged in the crimeware.
  • Then analyze the vulnerabilities and flag the ones that are exposed in the network or actively exploited.
  • Implement patches or other remedial factors such as IPS signatures, segmentation, etc. to avoid exploitation.
  • Check if something has been done to neutralize the effect of threat or reduce the overall risk. Vulnerabilities which have not been mitigated should be closely monitored.

For more information, contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 - 9654.