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New Year, New Passwords: A Cybersecurity Resolution Guide for SMBs

December 22nd, 2023 | 3 min. read

New Year, New Passwords: A Cybersecurity Resolution Guide for SMBs

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The upcoming New Year is the ideal time for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to reinforce their cybersecurity posture. As we usher in the new year, let's make cybersecurity a cornerstone of our business resolutions. In this guide tailored for SMBs, we'll delve into critical resolutions to fortify your digital defenses, focusing on password practices, multi-factor authentication (MFA), software updates, and more.

1. Reignite Your Password Practices

Resolution #1: Bolster Your Digital Fortress1-Dec-04-2023-03-01-28-9247-PM

In the realm of SMB cybersecurity, robust passwords are the frontline defense. Studies show that over 80% of cybersecurity breaches in SMBs are attributed to weak or compromised passwords. Take this opportunity to update and fortify your passwords across all business accounts. Aim for a potent combination of letters, numbers, and symbols, and consider leveraging a reliable password manager to streamline and secure your credentials.

Resolution #2: Ditch the Duplicate Keys

Much like a business with a single key for all doors, using the same password for multiple accounts poses significant risks. Make it a resolution to create unique passwords for each business account, reducing the impact of potential security breaches. Worried about remembering too many passwords? Password managers, like LastPass, securely store your passwords and makes logging in to your accounts simple.

2. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Double Down on Security

Resolution #3: Implement MFA Across the Board

Multi-Factor Authentication is a game-changer for SMB cybersecurity.  In fact, MFA can reduce the risk of compromise by 99.2%, according to a recent Microsoft study. Make it a goal to enable MFA wherever feasible. Whether through text messages, authentication apps, or biometric verification, this additional layer adds a crucial barrier against unauthorized access, even in the event of a compromised password.

3. Stay Updated: The Power of Software Updates

Resolution #4: Don't Delay Updates

Software updates are not just about features; they often include crucial security patches. Up to 60% of successful cyberattacks target vulnerabilities for which patches were available but not yet implemented. By staying current with software updates for operating systems, antivirus software, web browsers, and other critical business applications, businesses can substantially reduce the risk of falling victim to known vulnerabilities and enhance their overall cybersecurity resilience."

Resolution #5: Mobile Security Matters2-Dec-04-2023-03-01-32-6134-PM

Remember to extend your cybersecurity resolutions to mobile devices used for business operations. Keep your smartphones and tablets updated with the latest firmware and app updates, maintaining a consistent level of security across all endpoints.

4. Educate Yourself: Know the Threats

Resolution #6: Stay Informed About Cyber Threats

Knowledge is a formidable ally in the SMB cybersecurity landscape. Resolve to stay informed about the latest scams, phishing techniques, and malware trends relevant to your industry. Subscribe to cybersecurity newsletters, follow reputable security blogs, and instill a culture of vigilance against suspicious communications within your team. At Guide Star, we provide effective Phish Testing and Security Awareness training—a valuable resource for educating your employees. For more information, feel free to reach out to us.

5. Back It Up: Safeguard Your Digital Assets3-3

Resolution #7: Regularly Back Up Your Business Data

In the event of a cyber incident or hardware failure, having a recent backup ensures the continuity of your business operations. Establish automated backup systems for your business devices or make it a routine to manually back up critical data regularly.

This New Year, let's make a commitment to a more cyber-secure future. By adopting these resolutions, you're not just safeguarding yourself but actively contributing to a safer digital environment for all. Need assistance in implementing these resolutions? Guide Star is at your service! Reach out today to begin fortifying your systems and enhancing your cybersecurity. Cheers to a secure and prosperous New Year!