New security demands for hybrid work: Protecting your business in an evolving threat landscape

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Over the past year, cyberattacks linked to pandemic-related developments worldwide continued to impact organisations of all scales, including small businesses. Check Point Software’s 2022 cybersecurity predictions, highlighted increasing cyber risks as the hybrid workplace continues in the new normal with a surge in supply chain attacks and rise of mobile malware. The bottom line is cybercriminals will always find opportunities to target their next victim, so it pays for SMEs to be prepared with cybersecurity front of mind.

For small businesses, it’s critical to start thinking like a large organisation regarding security as cybercriminals look low hanging fruit. Here are four considerations on how to protect your business in an evolving threat landscape:

  1. Identify security vulnerabilities and weak points
    With the hybrid work model at the core of business operations, you must consider the domino effect of attacks on individual users, which can impact your entire security infrastructure. Conducting regular tabletop exercises through mock incident scenarios, can help highlight flaws in incident response planning and also increase your understanding of potential threats. We’ve seen throughout this past year how sophisticated attacks have crippled entire organisations. By adopting a prevention-first mindset and performing regular security reviews, businesses can remain a step ahead.
  2. Secure your devices with consolidated security solutions
    SMEs have had to revisit their cybersecurity strategies to ensure the hybrid work model can stay secure for the long-term. Small businesses can no longer afford to compromise on security and need to consider protecting all endpoints, network environments and cloud infrastructure. Therefore, a consolidated security solution will be key to keeping on-premise and remote devices secure to protect against the most sophisticated attacks.
  3. Understand the value of data and risks involved with data breaches
    Due to the increase in cyber incidents and multiple high profile supply chain disruptions, organisations across industries are realising that they are only as strong as their weakest link. Understanding the value of data you already hold and assessing the risks involved in a potential breach is crucial to protecting these assets. Sensitive data in the form of financial information, employee records, customer data, or assets linked to business partners can be leveraged by cybercriminals as an attack vector to infiltrate larger enterprises.
  4. Always run the latest version of software and ensure you update and patch software regularly
    Globally in 2021, 1 out of every 61 organisations was impacted by ransomware each week. Threat actors will target companies that can afford to pay ransom, and increasingly use penetration tools to customise attacks in real-time and carry out data exfiltration and extortion attacks. Minimise the risk of attacks by consistently updating and patching your organisation’s software. This is an essential step after identifying your key data assets and evaluating its value.

As businesses continue to evolve in 2022, cybercriminals will be following suit and are fully aware of the timeframe organisations can take to patch vulnerabilities. Small businesses may feel more at risk as they may not have the resources to counter potential threats. Working with a cybersecurity expert can help you mitigate risks involved with cyberattacks and provide scalable solutions to protect your security infrastructure.