Running a growing business means spinning many plates. You’re tracking ambitious targets while being cautious with costs and resources – and you don’t have the time and budget to prioritise everything. But it’s vital that everyday distractions don’t leave your firm vulnerable to security threats.
Cybercrime should be a major concern for SMEs. Over 65,000 digital attacks are carried out on UK small businesses very single day, resulting in 4,500 security breaches. And they’re not just disruptive to operations and damaging to reputations; they’re costly to clean up.
According to Vodafone research, more than 1 million small businesses will risk financial ruin if they are forced to pick up the bill for a successful cyber hack.
But don’t worry. Forewarned is forearmed – and understanding the potential cost of cybercrime is a powerful motivator for you to invest in a robust IT security programme. In fact, one of the most important things your business can do to keep digital threats at bay is increasing your focus on endpoint security.
Never heard of endpoint security? Here are the basics that all SME business owners need to know…
Endpoint is a technical term describing any kind of technology that you or your colleagues use to connect to your business network. For most SMEs, this means desktop computers, laptops and smartphones.
It’s not unusual for staff to have access to all these types of devices – it gives them the flexibility to send emails and access documents whenever and wherever they’re working. However, while they’re helpful for getting the job done, these devices are also potential ‘entry points’ for cyber hackers, which makes network security paramount.
Why is endpoint security so important?
Security is critical to every business, but the rising number of professionals remote working has increased the importance of endpoint security.
COVID-19 completely changed business infrastructures, and an Institute of Directors survey has revealed that nearly three quarters of SMEs plan to continue home working long after the coronavirus pandemic.
While remote working is great for maximising agility while capping office space costs, it’s a headache for endpoint security. It is relatively easy to control what technology employees are using to do their job when they’re in an office, along with the security controls in place on the server and internet connection privacy.
When people are working from home, however, they may be using their personal smartphone or laptop to access sensitive data – sometimes through an unsecured internet connection. This leaves their devices much more vulnerable to cyber threats.
Download the practical guide to secure working, inside and outside the office.
Cybercrime perpetrators are becoming more and more sophisticated, launching a wide range of complex attacks. Here are some of the most common threats:
It’s also worth noting that your system can be vulnerable to internal sabotage. While most people are trustworthy, sometimes relationships break down and disgruntled employees can compromise or extract valuable data if the network hasn’t been secured properly.
A good endpoint security programme delivers value in two ways.
Firstly, it puts protective layers in place that reduce the chances of your business network being infiltrated by cybercriminals. These measures can include:
Secondly, with a 24/7 endpoint security solution in place, your network is constantly being monitored – so if a cyber threat does happen, it’s picked up and resolved immediately. This not only protects your business from the financial cost of cybercrime; ‘nipping it in the bud’ prevents damage to your reputation.
While every business needs to take cyber security seriously, growing businesses are more vulnerable to the impact of digital threats because you have fewer tech resources in-house.
A global enterprise has a dedicated IT team keeping pace with the latest security threats, putting measures in place to safeguard against them, and monitoring for potential data breaches. SMEs can’t afford this luxury.
To work around this, smart companies are working with external IT service providers to do the job of an in-house team.
Managed IT support services are a cost-effective way to ensure your company systems and devices are well protected and continuously monitored, while taking the burden of tech security off your hands. And market-leading IT partners will include endpoint security in their outsourced service programmes.
As a growing business, it’s important that you work with a managed service provider that understands your changing needs – but doesn’t try and sell you the kitchen sink. Epoq-IT specialises in IT support services for UK SMEs. We’ll tailor our security solutions to your business requirements, with robust endpoint security for colleagues in the office and working from home.
For more support, download our free ebook: how to run your business securely – a practical guide for SMEs. Or check out our IT services for SMEs to explore support packages for your business.