Cybersecurity for SMBs requires a lot more than antivirus software

As a company comprised largely of US military veterans, the Sundog team has a unique perspective on network security. We believe that although military service and IT support take place in widely dissimilar physical environments, their success strategies are closely related.

In the same way that you can’t pit an Ancient Roman soldier against a 21st century marine, decade-old cybersecurity solutions can’t stand up to today’s threats. Antivirus software may have been enough to keep your business safe in the early 2000s, but that’s no longer the case.

Modern cybersecurity threats require a multi-pronged solution that protects your business on several fronts. To see what we mean, let’s review how our team protects clients in Dekalb.

Frontline threats: Emails, malicious websites, and outdated software

In the days of dial-up modems, individuals and businesses weren’t connected to the internet 24/7, but today’s technology is vastly different. You need digital barriers between your office and the internet.

First, you need a firewall, and it needs to be regularly updated and reconfigured by certified professionals. In a perfect world, your firewall would be the only way for content to travel from the internet to your office computers, but certain applications need a little leeway to operate effectively.

Email attachments are a necessity in the current business environment, but they’re also common vehicles for malware. Instead of using a firewall to either accept or reject email attachments without prejudice, we use specialized email security software for a more nuanced approach.

Other high-profile programs are also exempt from certain firewall protections, such as the Windows operating system. Hackers exploit these exemptions to spread malware like 2017’s WannaCry ransomware. So, in addition to an expertly managed firewall and email security software, we provide our clients with regular site visits to install updates and vendor-issued patches.

Threats behind the lines: malware, theft, and mobile device security

Antivirus software is something you can drag to the recycle bin, but antimalware software must be an essential part of your multi-pronged plan. Viruses are just one type of harmful program and there are countless others, many of which don’t require an internet connection at all.

If your receptionist found a USB drive sitting on the front desk, what’s the first thing he or she would do? If your answer is “plug it in,” antimalware software would be the only thing stopping ransomware, spyware, and whatever else is on that mystery drive from spreading.

Likewise, smartphones are magnets for malware. If guests and employees connect them to your network, you better have a top-notch mobility solution in place.

Finally, you also need to consider the risk of someone walking into your office during the lunch hour and walking out with a laptop or two. Every data regulation standard — from Sarbanes-Oxley to HIPAA — requires physical security precautions such as keycard-entry doors and 24/7 surveillance. Thankfully, compliance is a Sundog specialty.

Troop training

One of the reasons Sundog participates in the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve program is the importance of discipline and duty. Our technicians must follow strict guidelines, and so should your staff. The best IT security in the world can’t stop an undisciplined employee from emailing the company credit card number to a scammer pretending to be the CEO. Your staff must be trained to:

  • Create strong passwords
  • Avoid using public WiFi networks
  • Share company documents safely
  • Recognize “phishing” scams that try to elicit private information

Cyberattacks have come a long way in the past couple decades, and you won’t be safe without a host of advanced security solutions tightly integrated and working together to defend your business.

We see the demand for high-level support as an opportunity to build lasting business partnerships in our community. Our managed security service includes unlimited support from our team for a fixed monthly rate, which means that instead of paying out of pocket when your network goes down — you pay a much smaller amount to ensure it never goes down in the first place.

With 25 years of experience, Sundog is the leading provider of network services for Dekalb, Rockford, and Beloit businesses with 10 to 100 computer users. If you’re looking for technicians who will work day and night, seven days a week, to become your strategic IT partner, sign up for our free security assessment today.

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