Microsoft Presents: 5 Keys to Better Cybersecurity

As a Canadian small business or startup, you’re far more vulnerable to cybercrimes than you might assume. This post shares five keys to better cybersecurity.

If you watch or read the news in recent years, you might assume that cybercriminals only go after huge organizations with massive amounts of customer data. Unfortunately, the facts tell a different story. According to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, 71 percent of all breaches in Canada involve small businesses. Yikes!

The good news is that you can defend yourself! We asked David Iudiciani, a Microsoft security specialist, to share five keys to better cybersecurity.

“Canadian small businesses, including startups, need to keep their heads up! Criminals don’t discriminate when it comes to business size. And yes, you can take basic steps to protect yourself.” – David Iudiciani, Microsoft Canada

Key #1: Free your mind

Small business owners stand to benefit enormously from modern security solutions, but that might mean letting go of some misconceptions. First, let’s debunk a few myths!

“Hackers only target big organizations.” Unfortunately, the opposite is true. Hackers prey on small businesses because they are easy targets.

“The cloud is less safe than on-premises.” Probably not. The Microsoft Cloud is powered by modern datacentres featuring advanced, enterprise-grade security measures.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Wrong! Cybercriminals count on you relying on out-of-date technology that “still works.” In fact, that out-of-date device or app makes you a target.

“If you think you’re saving money by hanging onto old technology, think again. That old server could end up costing you a fortune in business disruption and reputational damage.”

Key #2: Replace old tech

Wait, if a device or application still runs and “costs nothing,” why would you replace it?

One good reason is that it’s out-of-date. In-house tech teams struggle to keep up with endless maintenance demands, like updates, patches, and releases. As a result, software and hardware do not get updated routinely, making it vulnerable. Criminals exploit these points of weakness to gain access.

Another reason, think about who had, has, and may still have access to your networks, applications, and data. Sometimes, organizations forget to terminate access to former employees and vendors without realizing the full implications. While those people and groups may have no malicious intent, hackers look for dormant accounts to exploit.

Key #3: Adopted layered security

So, what should you do? Organizations today often adopt a layered security approach, which combines multiple technologies to protect every layer of your security. It accounts for everything from data, applications, and networks, to physical security measures and employee practices. Think of it as a holistic approach to your business safety.

Remember, your security policy must reflect how people work, not how you want them to work. For example, instead of providing phones and tablets to employees, many organizations now adopt a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy that securely enables employees and vendors to work on the devices they prefer to use (and use best).

“If you expect to succeed, you need to make sure your business offers a secure, mobile-friendly experience for your customers, vendors, and employees. A BYOD strategy can work well.”

#4: Leverage Cloud Services

While this may all seem like a bit much, the good news is that you can take advantage of cloud services to improve your security. You can leverage the huge investment Microsoft makes in security practices, personnel, infrastructure, and technology, without having to take on the costs of buying and managing your own!

Key #5: Update Your Software

Get new software! Change the way you look at software – adapt to the new, secure way of accessing the applications you use the most to run your business.

Open an Office 365 account and gain access to the most current versions of productivity apps, intuitive business-class services, bottomless email, unlimited video conferencing, and world-class cybersecurity —all with a 99.9% uptime guarantee!

Finally, let’s not forget Windows 10! It features advanced security technology to help protect users and the organizations who hire them.

Ready to learn more about Windows 10 security? Download the “Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection Kit.” Includes ebook, report, and infographic. Link here.