If there was only one security threat to defend against—one type of attack, pointed at one part of your business, cybersecurity would not be making headlines on a daily basis as we see today. Unfortunately, as you already know, the reality is much different, and infinitely more complex. Threats come from all directions, in numerous ever-evolving forms, putting many businesses in a defensive posture as they scramble to provide even minimal protection. Once sophisticated threat attacks targeting large enterprise organizations are giving way to hyper-precise attacks on small and medium-size businesses, who are notoriously short on security talent and resources. There are actions that SMB leaders can take today to combat these threats, without a full security team or an enterprise-size cybersecurity budget.

What every SMB needs to defend against myriad threats is layered security. Outlined below are 10 things every CFO needs to implement today.

Ten Must-Have Layered Security Fundamentals

Layer 1: Incoming Port Blocking

While country blocking was once a sufficient step in preventing potential attacks, bad actors have since found a way to circumvent simple country blocking techniques. While country blocking is still recommended, your network will still be highly vulnerable to a brute-force attack. Current best practices include blocking all incoming ports unless completely necessary and protected. To take this action a step further for additional security, it is recommended to block internet access to critical internal resources to only inhouse machines, those physically located inside the security walls or connected over a secure VPN.

Layer 2: Hard Drive Encryption

Encryption continues to be a vital method of defense for many businesses, including those that are subject to HIPAA or other regulations that require it. By encrypting your workstation and server hard drives, you can protect sensitive data wherever it lives, including both cache and application data. Or at least you can make it harder to reach.

Layer 3: Next Generation Endpoint Protection and Anti-malware

Every endpoint in your business should be protected with the latest next generation endpoint protection and anti-malware software to defend against all forms of harmful software. Tools today leverage the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and are much more effective against ransomware threats. The best solutions block hacking, phishing, spyware, adware, and other forms of attack in real time, preventing hackers from spreading themselves from endpoints to other computers across the business.

Layer 4: Managed Patching

It’s critical that you know when new security patches are announced for your operating systems and applications. With a managed patching solution, not only will you receive a notification but the patches can be installed immediately, ensuring that you are fully defended at all times.

Layer 5: Multifactor Authentication

Multifactor (MFA), or two-factor (2FA), authentication is the new standard that helps ensure only authenticated and authorized users can access your business-critical applications. With the right software, MFA can be applied to any business application, so users have to provide two or more pieces of evidence, or factors, to gain access to sensitive data and applications. These solutions offer a level of protection once reserved for the enterprise space, now available at SMB budget prices.

Layer 6: Email Security

To defend against the many attacks that enter businesses through email, it’s important to train employees to be on the lookout for phishing and other scams. You also need to set up robust email security solutions, including setting detailed firewall rules, automatically scanning all internal email traffic, and improving reporting so you always know which accounts have been compromised.

Layer 7: Threat-Aware Backup and Disaster Recovery

Backing up your data is itself a form of business protection—but backups also need to be protected. In fact, both data backup and disaster recovery solutions need to be at least as threat-protected and threat-aware as the rest of your business. Solutions are needed that provide full visibility into your backup process, so you can detect ransomware infections right away. You might need a purpose-built backup system that abstracts the backup data, and you’ll definitely want to test your recovery process on a regular basis to make sure you can recover fast.

Layer 8: Wireless Security

Wi-Fi networks are an attractive target for hackers, and they can be challenging to protect, especially as your organization grows. Comprehensive wireless security should restrict unwanted traffic, automate provisioning, and give you deep and broad visibility into your network. It’s also important to maximize network performance even as you prevent unwanted traffic from entering the network.

 Layer 9: Mobile Device Security

Imagine the damage if an employee’s (or former employee’s) smartphone or other mobile device is hacked and the data leaked to the public or the competition. To prevent this, mobile device management (MDM) security needs to be added on top of the basic security built into the device. Encryption, access restrictions, remote management, and other features can help keep sensitive information fully protected.

Layer 10: Self and Third-Party Auditing

Your organization needs to have a regular rhythm of reviewing all internal systems for holes and best security practices.  Whether performed in-house or with a third party, performing external and internal penetration testing ensures no gaps have occurred.  If you have custom code, have it reviewed for vulnerabilities.  Also included in this penetration testing is training and testing of your users. Even the most sophisticated software solutions can be vulnerable if users open the door to threat.  Additionally, require users to utilize all of the security features (i.e. MFA, SSO, port blocking, etc.) available in your SaaS solutions.  If they are missing core security features, at a minimum you need to challenge them to improve their security offering.

Get the Security Solutions You Need

These ten layers of security are essential—but they’re only the beginning. Investing in a comprehensive portfolio of security services is a smart way to ensure you’re fully protected against the full range of existing and emerging threats. Learn more about developing an effective security awareness program.

There is No Better Time to Ensure Your Organization is Protected

Ensure your organization is protected by the widest variety of network security services, ranging from standard IPS, URL filtering, Intelligent AV, application control, and anti-spam, to services for combating advanced threats such as file sand boxing, data loss prevention, ransomware protection, DNS redirection, and more.

There is No Better Time to Ensure Your Organization is Protected

Ensure your organization is protected by the widest variety of network security services, ranging from standard IPS, URL filtering, Intelligent AV, application control, and anti-spam, to services for combating advanced threats such as file sand boxing, data loss prevention, ransomware protection, DNS redirection, and more.