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Remote Work & IT Security in SMB

The COVID-19 pandemic forced SMBs to quickly adapt their business model and adopt remote work in order to maintain their operation. But at what cost?

There are more enterprise and personal devices connecting to your network than ever before. They allow access to your data and applications from home or public networks.

Every device that connects to your network increases the attack surface and multiplies the potential flaws to exploit. Your traditional defences may not be adapted to threats capable of bypassing your security perimeter.

Your Organization is Vulnerable

The first step to improve your IT security is to admit and understand that your organization is vulnerable. But to what exactly?

The COVID-19 pandemic, by precipitating the adoption of remote work, has fundamentally transformed IT security. Cyberthreats are becoming increasingly sophisticated and hard to detect. While there are countless variants, they can be classified according to their modus operandi.

Here are some of the more common types:

  • Ransomware
    A software that effectively locks up your data from you by encrypting it. The perpetrator will ask for a (substantial) ransom in exchange for a decryption key that will allow you to get your data back.
  • Phishing
    A malicious email that seems to come from a trusted source persuades you to share or enter a password or some other private information that will compromise your IT security, or an email that invites you to open an attachment containing a malware.
  • Data Breach
    Whether through a malware you unwillingly installed or following an undetected intrusion, this allow the attacked to steal or destroy confidential data, leading to severe consequences for your business.
  • Vulnerability Exploits
    Sometimes, software flaws and vulnerabilities go undetected, allowing attackers to exploit them before they are fixed (Zero Day Exploits). These attacks and their consequences are unpredictable.
  • Man in the Middle Attack
    Through an unsecured WiFi network or an infected device, a third party will intercept and decrypt confidential data. For example, the data exchanged between you and your bank during online transactions.

You could be the next victim of these threats. There is no particular profile being targeted by attackers and malware. However, SMBs are particularly vulnerable because of their limited defences, they often don’t have the possibility to invest more in cybersecurity and, most importantly, they don’t have the financial and operational resources to recover after an attack.

Few enterprises have a viable strategy to face these challenges. Some have hastened the installation of additional security software, others have deployed firewalls and VPNs. But these mismatched solutions work in silos and are not fully efficient. Besides, they require the network administrators to learn multiple interfaces and deal with an overwhelming amount of alerts.

Truth is, despite all your efforts, your security perimeter is fading away.

Costly Lessons

A cyberattack against your organization can lead to catastrophic outcomes that are not limited to your computers. Consider the loss of productivity because your teams are unable to work for weeks while experts try to salvage what they can at a steep cost.

Add the data loss, the risks of lawsuits because confidential information has leaked, the impact on your reputation, the loss of potential contracts, the exodus of clients who won’t trust you with their data…

Some large enterprises may have the backbone and sufficient IT resources to react to an attack, but it’s not the case for most SMBs. The costs of an attack may be enough to shut down your operations permanently.

Act Now

Thankfully, you can protect your organization and prepare a recovery plan to remain in operation, even in the worst case scenario.

Efficient and accessible solutions exist that you can deploy to protect your data, your users, and the devices that connect to your network.

With a sound cybersecurity strategy, you will substantially reduce the risks of an attack and minimize its potential impact. Knowing that your data is safe, that you have excellent visibility over the health of your network, and that you can quickly respond and recover from a threat will grant you the peace of mind you need to focus on your business.

Our experts will assist you in analyzing and improving your security posture to strengthen your perimeter and safely enjoy working remotely.

Would you like to know more about protecting your business?

This post is part of a series prepared by ITI security experts. We offer you resources, tips, white papers and other information to help you prepare against cyberattacks.