The Ultimate Guide for Cybersecurity for SMBs


No business of any size can afford to neglect cybersecurity solutions. Yet, many small-and-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are doing exactly that. While this is slowly changing, SMB cybersecurity still leaves a lot to be desired.


“Helping SMBs get up to cybersecurity speed is a big part of what we do. We understand why many smaller businesses have hesitations and know exactly how to address them in a way that makes real sense.” –  Brian Lynch, Chief Executive Officer, Bakersfield Networks


There are a few reasons why many people believe that powerful cybersecurity for an SMB is unnecessary. Primarily, this comes from the misconception that hackers only care about large enterprises. The reality is the opposite. Cybercriminals bet on smaller businesses having fewer cybersecurity measures.

The other common protest is cost. SMBs are always thinking about their budgets, and powerful cybersecurity tools may seem like more money than they’re worth. For this reason, our ultimate guide to SMB cybersecurity is here to show you powerful, cost-wise, strategies for protecting your business.


SMB Cybersecurity Best Practices


Make Cybersecurity Training a Priority

Human error is at the root of 92% of data breaches. That means 92% of incidents could have been prevented with proper cybersecurity education. If you aren’t doing it already, now is the time to implement your cyber awareness training program.

Remember that cyber training isn’t one-and-done. You need to retrain your staff at least annually to keep them up-to-date with the evolving threat landscape. Someone who was well-educated last year may have no idea what came up this year.

Cloud Security

Moving your data to the cloud increases your security posture, but it also increases your number of potential access points. Cloud computing is overall a good business move for any SMB, but it’s important to realize that the security systems that worked for your on-premise data may not work for the cloud.

That’s why it’s crucial to choose a cloud provider that takes security as seriously as you do. Ask them about their security practices and make sure they have a good track record of keeping data safe.

Localized Data Protection

Keeping data safe on your local network is key. Use firewalls to block bad actors from your local network. Always update your software to protect against new threats. Often, an update is needed because hackers found a way to penetrate the old system.


How Else Can You Optimize Your IT?


Remote Work Security

An increasing number of American SMBs rely on a remote workforce. There are a lot of benefits to this practice. Employers can access a wider talent pool, save on office rental costs, and employees are found to be more productive remotely.

Still, the practice comes with cybersecurity threats. Make sure your team knows and follows all your security rules, even when they’re not in the office. Encourage best practices such as not doing work on public Wi-Fi. Also, consider using a VPN (virtual private network).

Mobile Device Security

The majority of employees use their mobile devices for work activities. Even if they don’t, almost all of them will expect to be able to connect their smartphones to your corporate Wi-Fi network if you work in an office.

The problem is that malware from a compromised device can spread if that compromised device connects to your network. To prevent this situation, encourage or mandate the use of secure, company-approved apps for any business-related communications and tasks.

Use Business-Grade Antivirus Software

As a smaller business, it’s tempting to opt for free-to-use pre-installed antivirus software tools on your devices. After all, that’s what you probably use for your personal computer, why shouldn’t it work for business?

The problem with free antivirus software is that it isn’t built to deal with the sophisticated threats that target business networks. Businesses, even smaller ones, hold high value data, such as customer information. Therefore, you need a business-grade antivirus tool to defend against these higher level threats.

Encrypt Everything

Preventing unauthorized personnel from gaining access to any sensitive data should always be your first priority. However, it’s also strongly recommended to implement encryption measures as an additional layer of protection.

Encryption works by scrambling information into a code that’s unreadable to human eyes. As a result, any stolen information is unusable. For your purposes, you’ll still be able to unscramble the data by using a specific decryption key.

Uphold Access Controls

Strong passwords are non-negotiable. Basic username and password systems are the bare minimum of any cybersecurity plan. You should go above non-negotiable bare minimums to truly protect your critical data.

Use the principle of least privilege (PoLP) to minimize access rights for users to the bare minimum necessary to complete their job functions. It’s also important to regularly review and update access controls, especially when employees change roles or leave the company.


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Why Outsourcing a Managed Cybersecurity Partner is a Cost-Effective Choice

While the above tactics will help you protect your business from many sophisticated cyber threats, there are some that will require the help of professionals. As a budget-conscious business owner, you might be hesitant to outsource a managed security services provider. However, we want to assure you that this is, ironically, a more cost-effective decision.

Bakersfield Networks provides tailored cybersecurity solutions for several industries. That means that we can customize your protection plan to defend you against the most relevant threats to your business. This means that you won’t waste money on generalized cyber solutions that may or may not fully encapsulate your business needs.

Consider that, alongside the cost of help vs. the cost of dealing with a breach, and realize that the ROI will speak for itself.

Contact us today if you have any questions.