Small businesses make up 99% of all businesses in the UK. In 2020, they totalled about 6 million1. Far from being beneath the notice of cyber criminals, small businesses are seen as an inviting target. In fact, 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses2. This means small businesses need to ensure they have effective security measures in place to avoid getting hacked. So, as a partner, you are in a strong position to understand the threats they face and recommend the measures they need to take to stay safe.
Attacks come from all angles
Hackers are growing ever-more sophisticated, employing many different methods to breach a company’s defences to steal data or extort money. Ransomware attacks are still frequent, blocking access to company systems and data until money is paid. Many small businesses can’t afford the ransom or survive the extended downtime. Email is still a prime target for phishing, tricking users into clicking on something or providing personal information. And these exploits are getting harder to spot, with “phishing kits” enabling criminals to spoof trusted brands more easily. Cyber criminals are also finding new ways to evade detection by antivirus software and hide data exfiltration actions, using multistage attacks. With so many attack vectors in play, small businesses need cyber security that’s equally multifaceted.
Where do small businesses stand with security at the moment?
Most small businesses have some security measures in place. But many are using lots of different tools from different vendors, creating a complicated mess and leaving them at risk of gaps in their protection. Some companies believe that having a good backup system is all they need to make a fast, simple recovery from any attack. But the fact is, you only find out if this is true when you’re forced to put that recovery plan into action. Plus, if there’s a data breach, businesses might find themselves on the wrong side of the GDPR, facing punitive fines and angry customers whose data has been compromised. For business resiliency, it’s much better to prevent an attack happening in the first place.
Four key areas for small businesses to consider
When you’re having conversations with small businesses, there are four key areas that they need to think about – people, devices, email and the network.
People – do they know who’s accessing company systems? What sort of authentication do they use?
Devices – do they have remote workers accessing their network via lots of different devices? Are all of those endpoints protected?
Email – how confident are they that no employee will click a malicious link? Do they have measures in place to block malware?
Network – are they monitoring their DNS? How quickly can they spot a potential threat?
Put a comprehensive solution in place
All of these areas need to be addressed in order for any small business to be properly protected. Attempting it with a patchwork of various tools isn’t a satisfactory answer. Small businesses face the same threats as large ones. That’s why Cisco provides enterprise-grade security that’s designed for small business. No single technology can prevent or eliminate cyber attacks. Cisco’s solution offers the complete, layered security that’s required to span all points of entry and prevent the spread of an attack.
A simple way to cover all the bases
Let’s start with people. Using Cisco Duo, businesses can verify the identity of users, devices and applications with two-factor authentication. This provides certainty over who’s accessing company systems – an ideal solution for remote workers, keeping data safe wherever they work.
Device security comes from Cisco Advanced Malware Protection (AMP), which detects and blocks malware and viruses on all endpoints. It only takes one device to be hacked for malware to spread, so advanced protection is a must.
Cisco Cloud Mailbox Defense slams the door shut on email threats. A cloud-native email security platform for Office 365, it handles spam, phishing and known malicious attachments without any disruption to email delivery.
The fourth and final area that needs addressing is network security. Crucial to this is DNS layer protection. 90% of malware uses the DNS in attacks yet over 30% of organisations don’t monitor their DNS3. Cisco Umbrella ensures security at the DNS layer, stopping malware and ransomware in its tracks before it reaches the network. For simple cloud management, Cisco Meraki MX appliances offer security features such as firewalling, content filtering, intrusion detection and more to keep the network safe. These security solutions all work seamlessly together, providing the end-to-end protection required for today’s threats.
Right shape, size and price for small businesses
Quick and easy to deploy, these Cisco security technologies are delivered from the cloud, meaning updates happen automatically – good news for in-house IT teams. Pricing is also attractive, providing flexibility and value for money. And it’s a future-proof solution, scaling easily to cover new employees and devices. With 87% of small business executives saying security is a high priority4, it’s a good time to talk to them about preventing cybercrime with Cisco.
The team at Ingram Micro is here to help you make the most of any small business opportunity. We have a full range of services for you to tap into, plus Cisco experts, so you can offer the fully-formed solutions your customers are looking for.
To find out more, please get in touch with Natalie Naudo | Natalie.Naudo@ingrammicro.com | 07767447677