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5 Ways to Protect Your SMB from Malicious Activity

4 Jun 2015 by Shay Moser

It’s essential for the success of your Small to Medium Business (SMB) to balance the confidentiality, integrity and availability of critical systems and information while enabling crucial business processes. Here are the top five things you can do to protect your SMB with limited resources:

1. Training and awareness

An organization’s first line of defense is its employees, as they access, process and manage most of the data that comes in and out of the company. Unfortunately, since the bad guys understand this, your staff is an easy entryway into the environment. Members are susceptible to malware, phishing and malicious websites. Educate your staff on safe computing practices, including:

  • Identifying, reporting and not opening suspicious or questionable emails
  • Not surfing or clicking on links on untrusted websites
  • Only downloading software from reputable sources

2. Protecting administrator rights

Administrative rights are required to install software on a computer — both malware and legitimate software. Most organizations enable their employees, knowingly or unknowingly, with administrator rights, opening the door to potential risk of infection by malicious code. Simply having employees operate without administrative rights significantly reduces the chance of infection.

3. Installing anti-malware protection

An up-to-date, reliable malware detection solution will help keep your data and systems safe from known malicious software and programs. This, in addition to training and awareness, goes a long way toward protecting your organization’s systems and infrastructure from infection, and it mitigates disruptions caused by such things.

4. Using firewalls

Safeguard your company from outside intrusion with software and hardware firewalls. Firewalls are not a fail-safe protection but rather one component of layered, holistic information security solutions.

5. Applying vendor patches immediately

You can prevent unplanned disruptions to critical business systems due to either instability or malicious activity by applying all vendor-recommended patches in a timely manner. Patches are used to fix flaws in vendor software or operating systems. These flaws can be exploited by malicious individuals if not addressed.

All of the solutions above should be leveraged as part of a well-rounded information security program to ensure the protection of your critical assets.

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