Business Tech

5 steps for protecting small businesses from phishing in 2021 

The ongoing global health crisis has caused ripples in every industry. Small businesses have taken a hit, and many companies have no choice but to allow WFH for employees for an indefinite period. Expectedly, there are some serious cybersecurity concerns to address in 2021, and phishing remains one of the top concerns. Fixing security vulnerabilities and taking a proactive approach is the best way to address phishing concerns. In this post, we are sharing more on 5 steps that can help in protecting small businesses from phishing. 

  1. Explain the red flags to employees. Your employees are the frontline defense against hackers, and they must know the red flags in a phishing email. Such emails often have spelling errors or typos, scare tactics, and suspicious attachments. Employee training is an aspect that matters the most in preventing phishing attacks. 
  2. Install antimalware and anti-virus solutions. There are some amazing suites out there that work against malware and suspicious downloads included in phishing emails. Consider investing in an anti-virus product that stands out and has been designed for small businesses. 
  3. Password security is a must. To avoid phishing attacks, password security is a must. All passwords must be changed periodically, at least once in 90 days, and it is best to use passphrases, which have at least 16 characters. If your employees are not using a password manager yet, do recommend one. 
  4. Ensure installation of software updates. From operating systems and software products, to firmware, browsers, and plug-ins, everything should be updated to the latest version, as and when these patches are made available. These patches can fix a large number of vulnerabilities. 
  5. Do phishing simulations. What does a phishing attack actually look like? There are many ways to do phishing simulations, which can be really handy for training employees. 

Are small businesses really at risk of phishing?

Unfortunately, yes. Small businesses often believe that they don’t have enough data or resources for hackers to get interested, which is untrue. Hackers and cybercriminals do not discriminate. In fact, small companies may have more risks, because they don’t spend as much on cybersecurity as big brands. Also, hackers can assume that these businesses have inexperienced and untrained employees, who are more likely to fall prey to phishing attacks. 

No wonder, training employees on phishing is one of the most relevant steps. Don’t wait for a phishing attack to happen, but also consider having an incident response plan in place.