With big company names and corporations like Yahoo! Getting hacked, many owners of small to medium enterprises assume that cyber attackers won’t bother targeting them. However, the 2016 State of SMB Cybersecurity report says otherwise; in fact, 50% of SMEs have experienced a security breach in the last year. Cyber attackers exploit the lack of security measures on SME websites and systems because they are often poorly-protected compared to the big corpos.

Here are some tips from CERT Australia, the the national computer emergency response team, on how small businesses can reduce cybersecurity risks.

1. Update your software regularly. From your operating system to business applications, to web servers and databases, make sure that everything is configured to update automatically as much as possible. Programs are regularly updated by their developers in order to fix bugs and keep malware from infiltrating computers. Unpatched and buggy software are potential points of entry for cyber attackers.

2. Backup your data. The importance of backing data up cannot be overstated—especially in the event of a cyber security attack. CERT recommends having daily backups as well as a weekly or monthly backup with an online, offline, and offsite storage. Test backups to ensure that you can recover your data in case of data loss.

3. Set default passwords to something new and unique. Small business owners must be proactive about setting unique passwords and not just using the default ones, which may be easily guessed. Moreover, try to have an individual password for every system in order to to prevent access to all platforms in case one is compromised. Consider using a password manager so you only have to remember one password.

4. Have security software properly installed. This includes firewalls, antiviruses, antispyware, and antimalware programs. Use spam filters as well. These security software can help protect your business from malicious or unauthorised access.

5. Assign one person to handle information security. If you don’t have a dedicated IT manager yet, consider assigning one. This person will have the responsibility of handling passwords, backups, updates, etc., staying up-to-date with security best practices, and informing colleagues of potential threats.

Small to medium business owners need to be proactive about cybersecurity in order to reduce the risks of attacks. If you want to learn more about how to protect your business from cyber attackers, contact Club IT today or request our free, no-obligation IT Basics Check.