There is a common myth that cyber attackers are more interested in going after the big fish. However, many cyber attacks are targeted towards SMEs. Almost all cyber-attacks are to obtain personal data to use in credit card or identity theft. While larger enterprises typically have more data to steal, small businesses have less secure networks, making it easier to breach the network.

There is an urgent need to know how to protect your business online as an SME. Here are five tech tips to secure your business:

1. Install Reliable Antivirus Software:
A good, reliable antivirus program is a basic must-have for any cyber security system. Apart from that, anti-malware software is also essential. They work by detecting and removing virus and malware, adware and spyware. They also scan through and filter out potentially harmful downloads and emails.

2. Use strong passwords:
Almost every computer and Web-based application requires a key for accessing it. Whether it is the answers to security questions or the passwords, make sure you create complex ones to make it difficult for hackers to crack them, and change them regularly. Also, consider using two factor authentication for added security.

3. Regularly backup all data:
While it’s important to prevent as many attacks as possible, it is possible to be breached regardless of your precautions. Every week, either backup your data to an external hard drive or the cloud yourself, or schedule automated backups to ensure that your information is stored safely. Keep copies securely off-site and check that they work. That way, even if your systems are compromised, you still have your information safe with you.

4. Engage your employees:
Having a written cyber security policy listing the dos and don’ts of using office systems and the internet is helpful, but not enough. You have to ensure that its details are communicated to and understood by your employees, so that they can put it into practice. Amend these policies regularly, or as required. To hold employees accountable, have each employee sign a document stating that they have been informed of the policies and understand that actions may be taken if they do not follow security policies.

5. Use a firewall:
One of the first lines of defense in a cyber-attack is a firewall. It can stop hackers from attacking your network by blocking certain websites. It can also be programmed so that sending out proprietary data and confidential emails from your company’s network is restricted. It’s also important that employees working from home install a firewall on their home network as well.
Attempts to steal confidential data and money, or disruptions in your business are very real threats. As cyber criminals get more advanced every day, it’s essential for you to implement security practices for your people, processes and systems which can help you bust online security threats. Each and every employee must make cyber security a top priority. Your business depends on it.

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