The sudden surge in people working from home has left many small businesses exposed to cyber-attacks. They’re simply not equipped for remote working. Smaller companies, start-ups or self-employed individuals often don’t have sophisticated IT structures to fall back on.
This doesn't mean huge spending is required on cybersecurity defenses, it's simply a matter of protecting the home computers employees are using, such as desktops, laptops and smartphones, and using a VPN (virtual private network).
Of course, many smaller businesses have other priorities such as how to keep operating and keep the money coming in. Governments have stepped in and the help and loans on offer should go some way to assuaging anxieties.
But cybercriminals have been quick off the mark in exploiting poor cybersecurity defences, unprotected devices and uncertainty and fear.
What and where are the risks?
- A blizzard of Covid-19 themed phishing emails have been launched, as well as websites and apps hiding malware designed to steal banking details and passwords. Ransomware has also been detected.
- Phishing mails targeting employees working from home have also been detected. These emails appear to be legitimate on the surface but are designed to steal ID authentication details.
For small businesses, the most pressing concern is end devices that aren’t protected, whether these are company devices or a user’s own device.
If these devices are infected with malware either via an infected website site, phishing mail or malicious app it can lead to a malware infection:
The dangers of myths
- Sensitive data and ID information are at risk of being stolen
- If it’s a ransomware infection, devices, databases, work documents can all be locked down. Essentially a business can be shut down until a ransom is paid
There is a belief among many small business owners that they won't be targeted by cybercriminals. This is borne out by a recent BullGuard survey in which it was discovered that one-in-five small and medium-sized businesses don't have protection on their end devices.
One-third also uses free consumer cybersecurity which apart from being difficult to manage, doesn’t cut the mustard when it comes to comprehensive small business cybersecurity.
Recommendations and free cybersecurity for small businesses
Independent testing lab AV-TEST recommends that during these turbulent times employees working from home need a secure environment. It suggests:
- A VPN because it creates a secure data tunnel from an end-user device into a company network.
It is not possible to hack into BullGuard VPN
as the connection is point-to-point, there are no data detours via unsecured servers and data is protected with military-grade encryption.
AV-TEST also says:
- The end-user device should always be equipped with good security software. In its most recent tests, AV-TEST gave BullGuard security software top marks and recommended it as a go-to product for device security.
To help small businesses address cybersecurity in these difficult times:
- BullGuard is offering free trial usage of BullGuard Small Office Security for three months to protect up to 50 devices.
- It provides flawless protection and all end-user devices are centrally managed via an easy-to-use cloud dashboard.
- Options are also available for small businesses with up to 50 devices that need safeguarding
There are no conditions attached, not even payment card details are required. It's simply a gesture that acknowledges a need and allows small businesses to navigate today's choppy waters without having to worry about cybersecurity.
Download the FREE trial