One of the biggest cybersecurity threats often comes from the users inside a company. A lack of training often spells doom for any company. As trusted IT advisors, MSPs have the responsibility to ensure their clients are protected from top to bottom from all threats. A great place to start is implementing a cybersecurity training program for all your clients.
The cybersecurity training schedule your clients choose will be dictated by the specific nature of their business and the systems, software, and hardware. A good start would be to encourage your clients to require all of their employees to receive training as part of their orientation and then updated training on a bi-annual basis. Stress the importance of having a formalized plan in place to keep security front of mind and employees informed about new threats. While formal training is important, informal training can be very effective as well. Encourage clients to have their employees take cybersecurity quizzes, read up on IT blogs, print out and post funny IT security memes around the office, etc. All of the above tactics are necessary precautions in today’s cybersecurity climate. However, many SMBs don’t have the resources necessary to put together extensive training. That’s where MSPs come in.
Essential Cybersecurity Training Programs for SMBs
There’s no single product available today that will solve every cybersecurity problem. It takes many technologies and processes to provide comprehensive risk and security management. Instead, SMBs should continually check their systems for vulnerabilities (with the help of an MSP).
Must–Have Solutions for Cyber Protection: Layered Security
Antivirus Software: Cybersecurity technology starts with antivirus software. Antivirus, as its name implies, is designed to detect, block, and remove viruses and malware. Modern antivirus software can protect against ransomware, keyloggers, backdoors, rootkits, trojan horses, worms, adware, and spyware. Some products are designed to detect other threats, such as malicious URLs, phishing attacks, social engineering techniques, identity theft, and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.
Firewalls: A network firewall is also essential. Firewalls are designed to monitor incoming and outgoing network traffic based on a set of configurable rules—separating your secure internal network from the Internet, which is not considered secure. Firewalls are typically deployed as an appliance on your network and in many cases offer additional functionality, such as virtual private network (VPN) for remote workers.
Patch Management: Patch management is an important consideration as well. Cyber criminals design their attacks around vulnerabilities in popular software products such as Microsoft Office or Adobe Flash Player. As vulnerabilities are exploited, software vendors issue updates to address them. As such, using outdated versions of software products can expose your business to security risks. There are a variety of solutions available that can automate patch management.
Password Management: Recent studies have reported that weak passwords are at the heart of the rise in cyber theft, causing 76% of data breaches. To mitigate this risk, businesses should adopt password management solutions for all employees. Many people have a document that contains all of their password information in one easily accessible file—this is unsafe and unnecessary. There are many secure password management apps available today. These tools allow users keep track of all your passwords, and if any of your accounts are compromised you can change all of your passwords quickly.
Encryption: Data encryption is also an important consideration. Encrypting hard drives ensures that data will be completely inaccessible, for example if a laptop is stolen.
These measures protect against a wide array of cyber attacks. However, because threats like ransomware are always evolving, security solutions are just one part of an effective defense strategy. You also need solutions in place that enable you to return to operations quickly if you do suffer a cyber attack. Data protection technologies are an essential second layer of defense against cyber crime.
It’s important to help your clients to help themselves. We’ve put together an entire eBook full of tips and advice for training employees on how to protect their company. For real-life examples of scams and to learn more about what should be on every cybersecurity checklist, download our eBook: The Essential Cybersecurity Toolkit for SMBs.
Ryan Weeks is chief information security officer at Datto Inc. Read more Datto blogs here.