Free Ways SMEs can Improve Cybersecurity

When running a small or medium-sized business, finding the time to keep up to date with the latest cybersecurity can be hard. However, for many business owners, this translates into leaving their security lagging behind the current thinking. Often, just making a few small changes and keeping up to date could greatly improve the protection of sensitive assets, systems and data – and save businesses money in the long run.

Here’s a run-through of some of the best free ways that small and medium-sized businesses can improve their cybersecurity and get up to speed. Remember that with cybersecurity, constantly evolving threats mean that the standard is a moving target. The only way to ensure that you’re at the right level is to remain vigilant and keep up to date with industry best practices.


Why do SMEs need to improve Cybersecurity?

With a rapid increase in threats throughout the past few years, many SMEs are unprepared for the current digital landscape and unable to deal with attacks. Attack volumes have increased by up to 151%, and over 90% of IT networks are capable of being penetrated.

There are a range of threats that businesses might face, including (but not limited to):

  • Phishing attacks
  • Ransomware
  • Man-in-the-middle attacks

Smaller and medium-sized companies are potential targets for all of these attacks, and one in three businesses cite cyberattacks as being more disruptive than COVID or Brexit. It is imperative to take measures that can diminish the effects of these kinds of attacks.

With that said, let’s dive into the steps to take for SMEs to get their cybersecurity up to standard, such as:

  • Asset Management
  • User Access Control
  • Password Management
  • Keeping Software Up to Date
  • Data Backup Procedures


Asset Management

Asset management is the identification, organisation, and maintenance of a record of all the digital and physical resources a business owns or uses. These assets can include computers, servers, software applications, data, network devices, and more. For small and medium-sized business owners who might be new to the concept, asset management might seem like a technical term, but it holds significant benefits, especially when it comes to cybersecurity.

Remember, asset management isn’t just about numbers and lists – it’s a proactive approach to securing your business’s digital landscape.

By understanding and managing your assets, you’re taking vital steps towards fortifying your business against cyber threats.

User Access Control

User Access Control (UAC) is a fundamental aspect of cybersecurity that plays a crucial role in safeguarding your business’s sensitive information and digital assets.

UAC involves:

  • Access Mapping: Identify the different roles within your business and the corresponding resources they need access to. Not everyone requires the same level of access.
  • Least Privilege Principle: Apply the principle of least privilege, giving users the minimum access necessary to perform their tasks. This reduces the potential impact of a security breach.
  • Authentication Methods: Implement strong authentication methods such as two-factor authentication (2FA) or multi-factor authentication (MFA) to add an extra layer of security to user logins.
  • Regular Review: Periodically review and update access permissions. Employees’ roles might change over time, so make sure their access still aligns with their responsibilities.
  • Employee Training: Educate your employees about the importance of User Access Control and how it contributes to the business’s overall security. Encourage them to report any unusual access or activity.

User Access Control might seem like an IT concept, but it’s a powerful tool that empowers you to have precise control over who interacts with your business’s digital assets. By implementing UAC practices, you’re taking significant strides in fortifying your business’s cybersecurity posture and ensuring the confidentiality of your sensitive information.

Password Management

Password Management is a critical aspect of cybersecurity that can greatly enhance the protection of your business’s digital assets and sensitive information. For small and medium-sized business owners who may not be well-versed in cybersecurity, understanding the importance of effective password management is essential for maintaining a strong defence against cyber threats.

Strong password management is a simple yet effective way to bolster your business’s cybersecurity. By taking the time to implement and promote good password practices, you’re building a stronger defence against cyber threats and demonstrating your commitment to safeguarding your business’s digital assets. Whether you use a password manager or ensure that your teams keep updating their passwords to reduce risk of data breaches, keeping on top of password management can be a great way to limit the potential for an attack.

Keeping Software Up to Date

Keeping your software up to date is absolutely crucial to cybersecurity! Not only can it significantly enhance the protection of your business’s digital environment, but understanding the importance of regular software updates is also essential for maintaining a resilient defence against cyber threats.

Regularly updating your software is a simple yet powerful tool in your kit to bolster your cybersecurity efforts. By making it a routine practice to keep your software up to date, you’re actively reducing the potential attack surface for cyber threats and demonstrating your commitment to maintaining a secure digital environment for your business.

Implementing Data Backup Procedures

By establishing solid data backup procedures, you can take active steps to make sure that you don’t lose anything valuable should the worst come to happen. Investing time and resources in maintaining effective backups can substantially impact your business’s ability to recover from potential disasters and cyber incidents.

The benefits of implementing secure data backup processes include:

  • Disaster Recovery: Data loss can occur due to various reasons, such as hardware failures, cyberattacks, or human errors. Proper data backup ensures you have a reliable way to recover lost data and minimize downtime.
  • Ransomware Mitigation: Ransomware attacks can encrypt your data and demand payment for its release. With up-to-date backups, you have the option to restore your systems without giving in to cybercriminal demands.
  • Business Continuity: In the event of a data breach or loss, having backups in place allows you to continue business operations while recovering lost information.
  • Data Integrity: Backup procedures ensure that your data remains intact and unaltered. This is especially crucial for compliance with industry regulations and maintaining customer trust.
  • Protection Against Accidents: Accidental deletion or corruption of files can happen. Regular backups provide a safety net, allowing you to recover data without undue stress.
  • Long-Term Data Preservation: Backing up essential data and records for the long term ensures that valuable information is preserved even if primary storage systems fail.

Free Cybersecurity Audit

If you’re concerned about whether your cybersecurity processes are fit to stand up to modern threats, Sentis offer a free cybersecurity audit to let you know what you’re missing. Our experts offer a free, no-obligation cybersecurity audit to spot vulnerabilities in your systems and let you know where criminals might look to exploit your current security.

If you’d like to know more about cybersecurity for small and medium-sized businesses, get in touch with the experts at Sentis. We provide you with peace of mind, offering protection from external threats to your business.

Contact us here to have a chat about your business’ cybersecurity.