Information Security Basics Your Small Business Needs Today

We have covered a number of security-related topics in past articles here at CloudCow, but that doesn't change the fact that security awareness is still very low, especially among business users. Recent ransomware attacks crippling the NHS in the UK and several banks in Spain have illustrated just how vulnerable these large companies are.

The outlook is grim for small businesses, despite the fact that they are targeted more frequently. Budget remains a big obstacle and real solutions are still not being implemented properly. Taking basic steps today can help save your business from future security issues. Here are the first steps to take for better information security.

Get a Vulnerability Assessment

The minimum you should do is get your systems checked. A network and application vulnerability assessment is a standard procedure that will help you identify risks and potential security problems. At the very least, you will know the kind of risks you're facing when you don't have proper security measures in place.

The assessment will also help you discover basic measures that can be implemented without breaking the bank. Some security measures are actually more affordable than you think; there are even free solutions you can employ.

Some problems are indeed very easy to solve. An unencrypted website can now be made more secure with the help of a free SSL from Letsencrypt. Up-to-date antivirus databases and firewalls are great for preventing attacks by script-kiddies (usually a high school kid who likes to play hacker just to brag about it) and will solve basic security problems.

Security as a Service

We have discussed security suites being offered as services and how they can be the solution to your budget constraints. Now is the perfect time to start looking into them more seriously. The recent ransomware attacks prove that negligence can have catastrophic effects. These effects will cripple your business and cost you more money than you could imagine.

Security as a Service is a way to invest in enterprise-grade security without the scary price tag. Services are offered by top names such as Driz Group at reasonable monthly and annual rates. They are also designed to be very scalable, which means you can pick-and-choose the services you need right now to save even more.

Stay Up to Date

Using older operating systems and software is no longer an option. Microsoft released an unusual patch for Windows XP after the NHS hack, which is designed to help lower the risks of ransomware attacks. The operating system, however, is no longer officially supported.

There are advantages to staying up-to-date. For starters, newer software and operating systems get patches and security updates in a timely manner. They are also built on top of better foundations. Bugs and security holes that were present in previous versions get fixed with every iteration of the software.

New technologies are being released to help small businesses protect their network and digital assets better. Startups are focusing their resources on making security solutions available to home and small business users. What's important is that you take a look at these new solutions and take steps to cover the security basics today.