How can you protect your small business from cyberattacks without an IT team? Read our step-by-step guide.
For small business owners, cash flow and sales are top of the agenda, leaving little time to focus on cybersecurity. Many small businesses will never reach a size at which they need or can afford a devoted IT support person, let alone a whole department. Of course, this doesn’t mean small businesses don’t need to protect themselves from cyberattacks. Thankfully, there are easy ways that SMB owners can manage their cybersecurity, protect their devices and prevent data breaches without an IT department.
"Whether you have an IT person or not, it is essential that someone is responsible for protecting your business from cyberthreats."
IT support teams inevitably vary from company to company, but the position can include responsibilities from installing and configuring computer hardware and operating systems to supporting employees with technical problems.
Whether you have an IT person or not, it is essential that someone is responsible for protecting your business endpoints from cyber threats such as phishing, ransomware and other malware or viruses.
And with the support of the right software, that person can be you...
What is an endpoint?
An endpoint is any computer device or internet of things (IoT) device that communicates with a network to which it is connected. For example: desktop computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets, and servers.
What is endpoint security and how does it work?
Each device with a connection to the network is a potential entry point for security breaches, so endpoint security secures each device on the network.
If you do nothing else, get endpoint security – a specific type of antivirus software that protects all endpoints.
Avast Business has developed endpoint security with small businesses in mind – even for those small businesses that don’t have an IT team or person to support and manage it. As such, these products have been designed to be managed by non-expert business owners to give maximum ease of use with ultimate protection.
Once you have purchased and installed an endpoint security product for your business, you will have access to an antivirus management dashboard.
While specific products vary, most dashboards contain similar elements; for example, you can expect to have:
Easy-to-use information on how to configure a network-based firewall and proxy settings.
These are the most relevant and important to a small business owner keen to manage their own antivirus. Depending on the needs and size of your business, some security solutions offer further features and options for more technical application and management.
A great benefit to endpoint security is that you can add new devices remotely. For example, if you open a new office, you can deploy the endpoint security protection to new machines from wherever you are. This also highlights the importance of adding all new computers and devices; they can make your business vulnerable if they are not protected.
Part of what IT support does is make sure antivirus software is up to date. It’s easy for employees to dismiss pop-ups issued by product manufacturers, but this can mean their machines don’t receive important updates - which are often made because of potential security risks. If their machines are vulnerable, then all endpoints and confidential company data they contain are made vulnerable.
Some updates are automatic, but many need to be manually initiated and involve computer restarts. By managing all of your devices from one dashboard or management console, you ensure continuity and seamless protection.
Endpoint security is an essential foundation for small business cybersecurity. But it won’t protect you if your employees aren’t up to speed on the latest threats.
To support you as you manage your cybersecurity, you should create a company security policy and instigate a training program for all employees that is updated annually or whenever necessary.
Some of the most important elements of staff cybersecurity training include:
Explore pricing options for Avast’s range of Endpoint Protection products.
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How SMBs can effectively protect their networks from cyberthreats – without breaking their security budgets