As businesses across the country begin to rise from their compulsory COVID-19 hibernations, the shift could be challenging for many as they continue to feel the brunt of the health crisis and its economic result. These challenges would be heightened for small and midsize businesses (SMBs). Although reopenings and renewed operations give initial hope, they're also being met with a great deal of risk because many SMBs have fewer resources in terms of capital and personnel than they previously had.
Given the current situation, it can be hard for SMBs to find accessible and/or affordable resources, and they are finding themselves easy marks for cyberattacks. In response, they are looking to the cybersecurity community now more than ever for available cybersecurity solutions, especially recognizing the never-ending wave of malware, ransomware, and phishing campaigns.
Here are three simple, yet effective ideas.
Getting free or low-cost versions of cybersecurity products or services is a must. Fortunately for SMBs, many companies have offered their solutions at discounted rates in response to the coronavirus pandemic. These security vendors are truly recognizing how essential it is to keep SMBs. By taking advantage of these rebates and making initial business relationships with vendors, SMBs that weather the COVID-19 storm will already have the support and relationships in place to balance their security needs once "normal" operations resume.
However, it's essential to note that SMBs should look out for any fine print attached to discounted solutions concerning geographic boundaries, user threshold limits, and specific time frames. While anyone in need of improved security should have the ability to access such terms, this is often not the case, and SMBs should be very wary of hidden or misleading disclaimers.
Ease of Installation and Deployment
SMBs usually employ small IT teams that often cover security as a secondary skillset, so it can be understandingly baffling for them to choose from among the quite number of available security products and services. This also makes it hard for them to know which of the thousands of solutions on the market are the right fit for their business needs. Even if all of the features are outlined, SMB decision-makers can still struggle with simply understanding how to respond to active threats and deploying the technology. Therefore, solutions that are very simple, both in terms of installation and deployment, should be prioritized by those concerned in leadership positions.
Low Maintenance and User Experience
Furthermore, ongoing support that does not require a dedicated IT or security team to continually implement updates or includes additional customizations should be highlighted when comparing options. Given that day-to-day users will likely not be security-savvy, having an intuitive user experience should be a key element of any security solution under consideration. Employees will want to be able to keep their level of productivity while concurrently staying secure. Finally, the balance between easy maintenance and improved usability is a delicate one, but SMBs shouldn't think they have to exchange one for the other.
By taking these three suggestions to heart, SMBs can develop their overall security and collectively protect the businesses that make up nearly half of our country's economy. Even better, they'll be able to keep their doors open for business to customers and keep their workers employed, while keeping both parties secure from cyber threats.