Businesses of all sizes are struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic but the impact has been felt most by small businesses. Governments have stepped in making loans available and despite initial teething problems, money is finally beginning to filter through to ease cash flow problems. Social platforms have also introduced new features specifically to help small businesses survive through the pandemic.

It's all good news considering the circumstances and there may be light at the end of the tunnel but there are so many unknowns about Covid-19 that we certainly haven’t turned a corner and hackers know this only too well. For hackers the pandemic has proved to be an absolute boon as billions of people moved to home working. Covid-19 themed malware has gone through the roof with instances of phishing and ransomware, for instance, sky rocketing as scammers exploit fear and uncertainty.

Unfortunately many small businesses don’t think this cyber skullduggery will affect them despite a raft of evidence, surveys and research that irrevocably suggests otherwise.

Free protection

In a recent survey conducted by BullGuard, 43% of small businesses (retail shops, family medical practices and more) stated they don’t have any cybersecurity defense plan in place, and 25% of SMB owners stated they had to spend $10,000 or more to resolve the attack, which could be devastating for a small company, and even more so during these pandemic days.

However, good cybersecurity health needn't be costly or complex. Implementing a few simple policies and judiciously choosing the correct technologies will keep small businesses safe and won’t even make a tiny dent in the bank account.

For instance, we are providing a free, no-strings, 3-month license for BullGuard Small Office Security to protect small business end-user devices. You can find out more about this below but first, check these simple tips that if implemented will keep the cyber-wolves away from the door.
  • Develop a cybersecurity plan and communicate it to the company. The plan should include standards for security software to run on every device (including BYODs), policies and procedures for keeping company data secure, escalation processes when issues arise, and an overall refresh on cybersecurity awareness and training.
  • Ensure all employee devices are running endpoint security software and that it’s continuously updated. This must include anti-phishing capabilities. Ideally, this software should be centrally managed through a cloud portal. This will enable IT staff (or owners and/or managers who have IT responsibility) to monitor and control the organization's cyber posture, even when employees are working from home.
  • Require all employees to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when connecting to Wi-Fi — including while working from home. VPNs enable users to safeguard their online privacy, fly under the radar, and surf the internet in stealth mode with complete anonymity. A VPN works by hiding the user's origin IP address and prevents others from monitoring their online browsing activity, what websites they visit, what they download, and what services and applications they use. Even if someone finds a way to access encrypted communications, it would take a hacker years and hundreds of millions of dollars to crack the encryption. VPN solutions offer protection across multiple devices and the cost of protecting them is mere pennies per day.
  • Require all employees to conduct regular backups to secure confidential data, including videos and other files. For example, if a ransomware attack occurs and computers are locked by the malware, the system can be restored via the backup without paying the ransom. A backup also helps if an employee's PC, smartphone, or tablet is lost or stolen. SMB owners should also require employees to have comprehensive antivirus protection installed on their devices to help identify and block malware or ransomware that hides on websites, and blocks malicious apps or emails with phishing attachments so they cannot be downloaded or opened.
  • Educate employees on how to protect themselves — and the company — from online fraud, such as not clicking on links or opening dubious-looking emails. Attackers lure victims in with apparently serious information or offers that are too good to be true. In doing so, they make use of various formats: websites, apps, text messages, or emails. Employees must check the sender's address carefully; the domain name should contain the name of the organization from which the email comes or if it looks suspicious then delete the email. If there's any doubt, make a phone call to the organisation to verify the authenticity of the emails.
BullGuard Small Office Security

BullGuard Small Office Security has been created from the ground up to specifically meet the needs of small offices and we’re offering a free, no-strings, 3-month license to help small businesses get safely through these uncertain times. No payment card details needed.
  • BullGuard's award-winning protection is at the heart of this cybersecurity platform. It protects multiple devices, including PCs, Macs and Androids, safeguarding workstations, laptops, smartphones, and other mobile devices whether employees are on location or home working.
  • It provides simple yet comprehensive management via a single centralised online cloud admin portal so one person can simply manage all devices. For instance, updates can be sent to all devices simultaneously within minutes. Infected and lost devices can also be remotely locked down.
  • Set up and deployment takes just minutes and the software footprint is light so doesn’t eat up a device’s resources or slow it down.
Find out more about this special offer by simply clicking here. You have everything to gain and absolutely nothing to lose.