It is an extremely common trend to see businesses that are not prepared for an online attack. Security and IT solutions are some of the first things to get tossed aside during budget cuts and financial decisions.
This is caused by a couple things.
The first, is that most people don’t understand IT and cyber security. The common thought is that when things are going smoothly it seems like they aren’t doing anything. It can seem like a waste of money.
On the flipside, if something bad does happen, then they think that the IT costs were a waste because they weren’t ready. This makes them see them as a waste.
Another misconception is that they can handle their IT on their own. Maybe they get some cheap software or a free VPN to protect themselves. However, they don’t update this software or keep up with the movement in the cyber security industry. This leaves them like a boat in the ocean without an engine-- completely helpless if disaster is to come.
What Can I Do?
There are two ways of thinking about this question.
The free route is not impossible, depending on the size of your business. The fact is that eventually you will run into something that will need to be solved by an IT specialist as you grow.
However, there is much that you can do on your own.
Check your Software!
There are many cheap or free anti-virus, anti-malware, anti-trojan, and more. However, as mentioned before, the cheap option will only get you so far. However, getting something is better than nothing.
Do a system check and see what you have running to keep yourself safe. Adding something basic is better than having nothing at all.
Update your System!
Old versions of software are often the most unsafe. Sometimes people do not update out of convenience, time, or just because they like the version that they have.
Let’s say you have a house with an antique front door lock. You love that lock because of the look, but it hasn’t been changed in years. The smart move would be to replace it, but you choose not to because of the inconvenience.
But then someone easily breaks the lock with a rock and steals your stuff. Now you are going to wish you changed that lock.
This is how it is with software.
Go through every week and check for updates of your most used software. Security software can help, but even changes in something simple like PDF reader could be there for a security reason.
You have to stay updated if you want to stay secure online.
Get a VPN!
VPNs create private connections to the internet. There are plenty of free options available that will provide much more security than not having one. However, for the best benefits, you will usually have to move to a business plan.
Check your Firewall!
Firewalls help keep you private from everyone and everything on the web. However, there can still be holes.
This is why you need to check your firewall ports to make sure you aren’t allowing common ways for people to get in.
Paying for Better Cyber Security
As you can tell there can be a lot to keep track of. Beyond just the things above that have to be constantly monitored, you also need to stay in touch with trends in the cyber security world.
Emerging trends show dangers and vulnerabilities. However, without the knowhow, you won’t be able to configure a secure way around them anyway.
This is why people choose to pay for a better cyber security option. It is just too hard to do on your own!
You could of course not hire anyone and just choose to start paying for better software. However, this is not recommended. There is a good chance that you are going to waste money on unnecessary products that don’t work well together and spend too much time trying to find good solutions.
This is why people hire either an IT person, or a managed service provider.
A managed service provider is becoming the preferred option for most small businesses. This is because they can provide more while costing less.
Please give us a call to learn more about how our managed services can help protect your business and provide you with the cyber security you need!