6 Cybersecurity Tools To Protect Your Business From Cyberthreats

This post may contain affiliate links and I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase using these links – at no extra cost for you. Please read my disclaimer here.

People only worry about IT security after a hack, breach, or data leak. But by then, it is already too late. 

IT security is crucial to small businesses, but they think their organization is too small to be a victim. That is incorrect.

Studies show that most data breaches affect small businesses. You only think so because most news stories concern large corporations.

IT security involves unique tools based on your threat model and business activities. Here are some tools to deal with various cybersecurity risks:

1. Password manager

Passwords are how one gains access to online accounts.

Cybersecurity Tools To Protect Your Business From Cyberthreats

They may be an easy and free solution for your staff to keep their devices and accounts safe from prying eyes. But for that to happen, passwords must be strong and unique.

Password reuse is a security risk. Thus, it's best to use different ones for each account so that the others will still be safe if one is compromised.

Passphrases make passwords easier to remember. But you'll soon have too many accounts to remember a strong, unique password for each.

A password manager is a necessity at this point. If you use a password manager, you may be less vulnerable to phishing

For added security, they can also help you generate unique, robust passwords for all your new accounts.

Getting access to these credentials requires simply remembering a single master password. The password manager stores all other passwords.

2. Multi-factor authentication (MFA)

For an extra layer of security, you can use multi-factor authentication to verify your identity before logging in

Signing in with MFA is more complex than entering your username and password. Safer forms of multi-factor authentication use hardware tokens or time-based, one-time passwords created by zero-trust software.

Setting up 2FA on an account will give you a set of one-use codes to log in if you can't enter the correct 2FA code. Store these codes in a safe place so you can open your accounts even if you lose your phone or physical fob.

3. Antivirus software

After the widespread use of computers and distributed systems, the first virus attack occurred in the mid-1980s.

Antivirus software

There have been thousands of new computer viruses since then. New malware detections worldwide reached 677.66 million in March 2020, up from 661 million at the end of January 2020.

Computer antivirus software, commonly called anti-malware software, protects computers from, detects instances of, and eliminates malware. A user can isolate the malicious files with the aid of this program.

Over time, antivirus programs have become more sophisticated. It protects users from ransomware, keyloggers, rootkits, trojan horses, phishing, and botnet DDoS attacks. 

The kind of malware itself also constantly changes. The widespread distribution of malicious software in recent years has become a significant security risk for computers everywhere. 

Identifying viruses using older, less advanced methods is becoming increasingly tricky as newer, more complicated viruses emerge. As more and more computer systems become interconnected, viruses have more ways to spread.

When detecting viruses, the best systems take a multi-dimensional, multi-layer approach. Some types of antivirus programs are:

Sandbox detection

The process entails examining the behavioral fingerprint of potentially infected applications while they are active

It logs the actions of these programs and runs them in a sandbox so that the platform, system, and other applications remain unaffected. 

The logs indicate if the program is infected. This method has benefits, but it's not the ideal tool for SMBs because of the significant resources it requires.

Signature-based detection

Signature-based virus detection is the most commonly used technique. This tool analyzes a virus-infected file and generates its signature

During a virus scan, files are checked against a database of signatures to see if they match with one of the signatures.

But this technique is becoming ineffective. Modern viruses are dynamic and evolving. They encrypt various sections of themselves to evade detection by virus signatures.

Real-time protection

Auto-protect, background guard, resident shield, and on-access scanning provide real-time security

Real-time protection constantly monitors systems and freshly downloaded programs to block malicious software. It checks for questionable Internet and external device connections.

Antivirus tools give people peace of mind that they and their devices are safe from viruses and malicious software

They can serve as an early warning system against various assaults and deter hackers. They are crucial in preventing the theft or misuse of sensitive data and information.

4. Cloud storage

Cloud storage stores data on a server drive and makes it accessible through a software platform. The host server might be internal or remote.

Cloud storage

With cloud storage, you can store your data in a central location and access it from anywhere using any device. Some of the essential features of cloud storage are:

  • Availability or ready access to the information at any time.
  • Durability and protection from crashes
  • Performance or speed of data access

Cloud storage's primary uses are data backup, file syncing, and sharing. It provides extra protection for your company's data and encourages closer employee teamwork. Expanding its utility beyond data backup and file syncing, cloud storage seamlessly integrates log monitoring, fortifying your company's data security while nurturing collaborative teamwork among employees.

Management must implement a secure cloud storage solution considering the likely sensitive nature of the business data. Choose the best cloud storage service for your business by considering your needs

You may prioritize state-of-the-art security measures to keep your data as safe as possible. Or you may require seamless integration between your cloud storage platform and your existing applications.

End-to-end encryption protects your data and communications from eavesdropping. Meanwhile, two-factor authentication adds another layer of security by asking you to enter a code sent to your device every time you access your cloud storage account.

5. Intrusion detection systems (IDS)

Due to the Internet's widespread use, it has become a target for various criminal activities. 

Many different types of cyberattacks exist, and the Denial of Service attack is one of the easiest to detect. The challenge is figuring out how to respond to them. 

Meanwhile, with many other kinds of attacks, detection can be a significant obstacle. 

The success of any measure taken to protect data online depends on careful planning and prompt action.

Even if your company has never been the target of a cyberattack, that doesn't mean hackers haven't already begun exploring your system. Thus, a prompt installation of an intrusion detection system is necessary.

These are the three most typical forms of IDS:

Network intrusion detection system (NIDS)

A NIDS is crucial in critical locations, such as a subnet, typically those that see the most network activity

NIDS scans enormous quantities of network traffic. Hence, they have reduced specificity and may overlook encrypted content. Its strength is monitoring large volumes without slowing data flow.

Network node intrusion detection system (NNIDS)

The NNIDS is much like the NIDS in operation, albeit on a much smaller scale. It inspects every device on the network for any signs of risk or intrusion. 

NNIDS is the guard at the door who looks through everyone's baggage to ensure they're empty before entering the venue.

Host intrusion detection system (HIDS)

HIDS is a tool that keeps an eye out for attacks on a device or network. Monitoring might include external intruders and internal resource or data misuse

Your app's log files are a historical record of events and functions. AN HIDS monitors logs, making it easy to spot signs of an attack. 

Even small and medium-sized enterprises (SMBs) often use all three IDSs. Your network traffic will likely be safe and secure if you have all of them.

6. Firewall

A firewall is crucial to the safety of any network. Firewalls prevent malicious data from being sent or received between two networks.

Firewall

A router can act as a hardware firewall between a computer and a modem. Personal computers can implement firewalls by downloading and running special software.

One of a firewall's main jobs is to inspect incoming and outgoing data packets for compliance with security rules. Traffic must comply with the firewall's controls to enter the network. If not, the firewall blocks it.

Operating a computer without a firewall enabled is like leaving the front door wide open.

Firewalls prevent attacks by obstructing broadcast addresses, a common tactic for hackers. They can stop malware from installing further harmful software, which could collect data illegally. 

A firewall can also prevent DoS attacks, man-in-the-middle attacks, and TCP syn flood assaults, in which an attacker sends overwhelming requests to a single host to slow it down.

Some examples of firewall technology are:

  • Network Address Translation. NAT transmits data from public to private addresses and prevents malicious actors from accessing the private device. The router organizes the information so it can only go where it's supposed to go, making it harder for harmful traffic to sneak through.
  • Packet filtering. In most cases, packet filtering is the best way to prevent damage to a LAN from outside computers. Packet filtering is a common and inexpensive form of protection because it is built into most routing devices.
  • Virtual Private Networks. A VPN establishes an encrypted connection between a user's device and the company's server. It allows employees to download and send files over the Internet without worrying about prying eyes. To choose the most suitable provider, check Reddit’s VPN comparison table.

Wrapping up

Cybersecurity is a growing science that uses many different technologies to safeguard systems

The intricacy of this ever-changing domain makes the categorizing of security tools impossible. But, the above tools are the most useful for protecting your small business from cyber threats.

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}