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The Web is constantly evolving and so with it is cybersecurity. Internet users are more at risk than ever for hacking, phishing and various other tactics targeted at stealing personal information and causing mayhem. Small businesses are just as susceptible as anyone else! This is especially true during the present circumstances where more people are working from home than ever. The key to staying protected from cybersecurity attacks is by staying informed. To start, take a look at 3 lessons that small business owners have learned in 2020 about cybersecurity and how it can affect and potentially damage your business: 

1. Cybersecurity Attacks Increased Over COVID-19 Remote Work Regulations 

COVID-19 has taught businesses across the world many lessons and has resulted in more remote workers than ever before! These unprecedented circumstances have led to an increase in cybersecurity attacks and have required businesses that store personal, financial and general sensitive information to rethink their current security solutions and set up higher security measures. When you have a mixture of on-site and remote employees working together and accessing information from different IP addresses and computers, it’s very important to make sure you’re secured on all fronts including emails and file exchanges. For example, email remains one of the preferred methods of communication for businesses as it's an easy way to deliver information instantaneously in a secure, private environment. But how private is it really?  

Emails are susceptible to hacks and viruses that can be attached to phishing emails and various scams. Programs such as Mimecast, cloud cybersecurity services for email, data and web, provide your organization with the archiving and filtering necessary to keep your organization protected and prevent compromises. Implementing a program such as this can prevent your business from suffering expensive data losses. If this isn’t something you have implemented presently, it’s time to start thinking about doing so! Contact our IT experts to start! 

2. The Importance of Safely Storing Sensitive Information 

Your team is the first level of defense when it comes to cybersecurity. If your team is well versed in the art of staying safe on the internet – they're far more likely to avoid falling for phishing attempts, hacks and other cybersecurity threats. This applies to the storage of personal, financial and medical information. Oftentimes, we are keen to save files or other important data to our desktops for easy access or to quickly email to a coworker or patient who might need it. This is where things can go wrong. 

If your work or personal computer is compromised, those files are compromised too. When you have employees working on-site and in a remote environment, it’s harder to control how important files are being transmitted and handled. For example, if an employee’s personal network is compromised and they’re storing confidential medical or financial records locally to their desktop, those can be accessed and are at high risk. This creates the need to store these files in a secure location behind a login or secondary security measure—such a place is OneDrive, which is cloud storage where you can keep your files backed up, protected, synced and accessible across multiple devices. You can easily and securely share these files with others who need them as well. If your files get compromised on your local computer, there isn’t much that can be done. If this information is stored in OneDrive, for example, and you’re compromised, an administrator would be able to prevent hackers from logging into the account or sign them out of the account.  

3. Using Different Vendors for Security Products and Services Can Minimize Security Risks 

Cybersecurity is a lot like an onion—hear us out—it has many layers! The more layers it takes to get to your data, the better and more secure it is. Data loss is an expensive side effect of minimal security that your business doesn’t need. The way to prevent this is by using numerous security vendors and different security services to keep your employees and business protected! For example, if your organization is using both Microsoft 365 and Barracuda Email Security Service (a cloud-based email service that protects inbound and outbound email against spam, spoofing, attachment viruses, phishing and denial of service attacks), and one of those providers is compromised, you can fall back on the other to keep your emails flowing in and out and keep your business running without interruption. It’s beneficial to have more than one security system as they feed off each other and allow you to switch between them if needed to remain secure.  

At VGM, our clients who have our monthly managed services get Open DNS protection. This is a protection with Cisco that doesn’t allow websites less than 30 days old to be opened. A vast majority of the malicious websites found in email links are less than 30 days old. By adding this service, our customers can feel safer knowing these sites are blocked before a user can even open them. 

All in all, cyberattacks are just another brick in the wall of security. But there is a myriad of ways to stay protected, as we’ve outlined in this blog. From cloud storage and employee training to cloud-based email and more, employing a variety of security measures will benefit you in the long run and save your business major money in terms of data loss and breaches. If you are interested in further discussing ways to stay protected from cyberattacks, drop our experts a line! Give VGM Forbin’s IT a ring at 888-641-6416 or fill out our online form and we’ll get back to you shortly. Click here for more info about our services: https://www.forbin.com/it-services

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