Businesses from all industries are at risk of a cyber attack every single day. Many small business owners disregard the need for professional cybersecurity because they believe that they aren’t at risk compared to larger companies. Larger enterprises have specific data that hackers want, but smaller companies are actually the most vulnerable out there. Many hackers choose to go for smaller businesses over larger ones because they don’t have the right resources to protect themselves or fend off cyber attacks. These resources that they lack can be found with the help of a Managed Service Provider, which can provide your business with easy and cost-effective ways to prevent those cyber attacks and keep your business protected. Small Businesses Are a Target Small businesses are attractive to those looking to steal information or data, as many small businesses have a lack of cybersecurity measures that will adequately keep them protected. Funds are rarely allocated to cyber security compared to other areas of the business, and this is a big part of the problem. Hackers see the lack of security in most small businesses and don’t hesitate to take advantage of it. Bigger businesses are attacked all the time, but that doesn’t mean that smaller operations are exempt from cyber attacks. The recent uptick in remote working trends has contributed greatly to this risk for small businesses. With organizations moving to remote networks, many of them weren’t prepared with the property security measures to keep their data safe. On top of that, employees working from home and on their own devices increases the chances that hackers have of infiltrating an employee’s computer. From ransomware attacks to DDOS attacks, a small business is vulnerable when a hacker gains control of their business computer system. Phishing is another security issue for small companies, with 88% of organizations receiving phishing attacks in 2019 alone. Phishing attacks have also increased due to the pandemic, with many phishing emails claiming to have info about stimulus checks or coronavirus updates that really are looking for ways to hack your systems and steal your personal information. This is not a small number, and should not be ignored. Without proper staff training to learn how to avoid phishing emails and recognize the signs of a phishing attempt, human error could be one of the biggest risks in your organization and easily lead to a data breach. What You Can Do About Security There are several tech practices that hackers hate. That’s because these tech practices are typically the most effective way to keep hackers out of your systems. Here are five tech practices that hackers hate to see when they attempt to break through your security barriers. 1. Multi-Factor Authentication Your small business authentication and validation should be a high priority for you, which is why you should be employing multi-factor authentication on all devices and accounts. With MFA, you have to get through two to three walls of security to access accounts and devices. These security walls will usually be a combination of various keys, such as a password, a fingerprint, or a face ID. Often, MFA will require two of the following keys to enter an account or device: a knowledge-based key, a physical key, and a biometric key. Knowledge-based keys could be anything from a password to a PIN code or answer to a set security question, memorized by the individual seeking to access the account. Another option is to store passwords in an MFA-secured login database, such as LastPass so as not to have to memorize all your passwords. It’s also a good idea to use suggested strong passwords to increase their security. Physical security keys validate the user based on a physical item, such as your phone (which could receive a text message code) or a swipe card. Some businesses then implement a third secure layer, biometrics. This key can be a voice code, fingerprint, or retinal scanning, which would be specific and unique to the user attempting to access the account or device. 2. Cloud Services Cloud services are cost-effective, versatile solutions for businesses that are expecting to grow. Cloud services grow with your business to continue to protect you and streamline your processes. They also help you scale more easily, which can be a huge benefit for businesses trying to find a balance with remote and hybrid working arrangements. With the right cloud storage, you can find that your business is protected from exterior threats looking to steal your customer data. Unless you are using a VPN to access onsite data instead of cloud solutions, it’s likely that your data is at risk. Sending and storing information on devices without protected cloud or VPN solutions poses a huge risk to that data. Cloud solutions are a cost-effective and easy way to protect your business data while keeping it organized and accessible, no matter where you are. 3. VoIP VoIP phones are a great way to make calls for cheap rates (or free, with some companies) and connect those calls via the Internet rather than onsite wiring. Businesses with remote workers and offices around the world can benefit from VoIP, and with a dashboard for receiving calls, companies are better protected. The only thing that you need to install VoIP is an Internet connection. Calls are dialed to one number, and the data can be analyzed to tell where your calls come from and how many you get at one time. 4. Email Filtering Many attacks on businesses start through email. Email filtering can help your business recognize and delete potential threats that could turn into full-on cyber attacks. This will not only ensure that your data is secure, but it will also mean that your business performs better. It’s a practice that hackers have particularly as many scams and viruses are sent via email to companies. These viruses are embedded in links that are let loose on the computer systems when the link is clicked. 5. Network Assessments A Managed Service Provider can help you with network assessments, which identify the weak spots in your business infrastructure. Performing network assessments will help your small business to work out where it needs the most defense in your business, and a managed services provider will then offer consultations to increase your small business security and improve business and system performance.