The top cybersecurity focuses for 2018

Cybercrime is on the rise as criminals adopt the same technologies that are driving today’s thriving markets. Emerging threats arise both in-and outside every enterprise.

Smart SMB owners won’t put off seeking heightened security for their organization.

Cybersecurity threats are very real and may be advancing toward your SMB. Here’s what to look for and how to avoid being the victim of cybercrime.

Hard to detect external threats

Cyberthreats loom on the edge of every organization. Keep an eye on your perimeter for signals that these external miscreants are sniffing about.

Crime-as-a-Service (CaaS)

Everything can be a service it seems. And these days, crime is just another “a-a-s” opportunity.

Existing and emerging criminal organizations are selling their services and software to less qualified crooks, raising the number and scope of attacks. At the same time, those CaaS sellers are adding tomorrow’s sophisticated AI and machine learning technologies to their already bristling arsenal of criminal weaponry.

Existing security systems and practices are hard-pressed to keep up.

The Internet of Things (IoT)

Insecurity in IoT devices is not new and not improving, either. Manufacturers introduce more IoT devices each year, most of which have no security programming of any kind installed. And, while most of the devices don’t collect or share data, they may act as open portals into other, more secure areas of the home or business.

Security professionals are struggling to find ways to make these devices more secure or safer after their purchase and installation.

SMB’s that are not in the business of IT security often seek the services of IT security professionals to provide the protection they need to defend against these ever-growing external threats. Outside contractors, like your managed IT services provider (MSP), have the skills and experience to detect and identify threats.

Plus, their IT security programming is always up to date with the latest defenses.

Totally avoidable internal threats

Other threats arise within the walls of your company. But many organizations can’t or won’t invest in the protection they need.

Bad passwords

Believe it or not, in 2016, 63 percent of data breaches involved weak, default, or stolen passwords.

Many companies spend no time revising or reviewing their passwords, and cybercriminals use algorithms to quickly and easily identify and bypass them. The problem is made worse when the company relies on a single authentication procedure, instead of layering on a second one to heighten security walls.

Loose third-party rules

In the growing global markets, third-party partnerships have become commonplace. However, when those third-party players can’t, don’t or won’t provide sufficient security controls over shared data, every partner in that supply chain is at risk of cybercrime.

Europe’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) underscores the concerns that arise from the third-party control concern. This new rule holds primary companies liable for data loss experienced as a result of interaction with third-party contractors.

SMB responses to cybercrime

The challenge for SMBs lies in finding effective ways to stave off cybersecurity threats without breaking the bank. Most small business leaders just don’t have the experience to handle that level of network security on their own.

Which is why an increasing number of organizations, large and small, opt to partner with an MSP for their cybersecurity protection. Whether you have internal IT staff or not, an outside security partnership makes sense.

After all, this is your company’s data security we’re talking about it. If that gets compromised, recovery is no easy thing.