10 Helpful Cybersecurity Tips for SMEs

It’s not news that smart offices are more vulnerable to cybersecurity threats than traditional workplaces. From smart locks, voice assistants and smart couriers, smart offices have had more points of entry for cybercriminals to exploit due the increasing number of IoT devices.

This makes smart offices high-value targets – especially if your business is a small or medium sized. Cyber threats are increasing as work the majority of work shifted to remote work due to COVID-19. Keeping smart offices safe means securing the smart devices and network infrastructure.

Here are 10 cyber security tips for smart offices:

1. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Virtual private networks provide better security than public WiFi by encrypting all smart office traffic in transit and blocking potential intruders from intercepting data packets in the open. VPN also prevents smart devices from leaking private information about smart office processes.

2. Update smart devices regularly

Updating smart devices regularly not only improves the overall security architecture of smart offices, but it also minimizes vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can exploit to get into smart offices. Updating IoT devices not only makes them compatible with new software, but it also patches known security holes.

3. Use smart devices compatible with your smart office

Using smart devices that are compatible with smart offices dramatically decreases the chances of cybercriminals leveraging smart devices against smart offices. This may require you to avoid using certain IoT products like smart speakers. Make sure smart door locks, voice assistants and other secure IoT devices are compatible with smart office software and hardware.

4. Use smart devices that support HTTPS connections

Using smart devices that support HTTPS connections prevents smart offices from being attacked at the smart hub level, which is a step ahead in defending against distributed attacks exposing smart offices to security vulnerabilities. Don’t use smart home security kits without stable internet connections and smart door locks with weak security protocols.

5. Use smart devices with open source firmware

Just like updating smart devices regularly, smart offices should use smart devices that supports open source firmware to close security loopholes in smart hubs and other IoT smart products giving hackers access to sensitive information about your smart office processes. In addition, it’s important that your staff is trained on how to install smart devices with open source firmware and access smart offices with smart digital keys.

6. Use smart devices that supports two-factor authentication (2FA) and/or PIN codes

Using smart devices that support two-factor authentication and PIN codes prevents cybercriminals from hacking or stealing smart office data using malware installed on your smart devices.

7. Limit smart devices to smart offices

Limiting smart devices only to smart offices prevents smart devices from being hacked and leveraged in a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack against your company website or servers, which is another way that cybercriminals can gain access to sensitive information about smart office processes. Don’t use smart speakers at home, especially if your IoT devices are not compatible with smart offices – hackers can exploit smart speakers in DDoS attacks against your business website or servers by leveraging multiple smart speakers used in the same location.

8. Stay updated on cybersecurity news from reliable sources

It’s important for businesses to stay updated on cybersecurity news from reliable sources like trusted security blogs and websites so you can be aware of new security threats smart offices are exposed to, especially if smart office software or hardware is still in beta testing.

9. Educate smart office users about cybersecurity

It’s crucial that smart office users are educated about cybersecurity best practices to improve the overall security of smart offices because IoT devices are vulnerable to cyberattacks even when they’re used within corporate networks. Make sure your smart office users know how to identify phishing emails and scammy links. Also make sure you educate them on how to avoid clicking on links from unknown senders, use strong passwords for smart digital keys, enable two-factor authentication (2FA), install antivirus software on their computers, etc.

10. Enforce smart office password policies

Lastly, enforcing smart office password policies is crucial for smart offices because smart devices are prone to cybersecurity attacks even when they’re used within smart office networks. Make sure every smart device is associated with a smart digital key that can’t be shared across multiple smart devices, and that your smart office users change their smart digital keys regularly.

With all the hacks and breaches in recent years, it’s no wonder SMEs are concerned about their cybersecurity. We talked about some of the most common ways to maintain a secure office today, but what other tips do you recommend?  If you have any additional security ideas or best practices for small businesses that we didn’t mention here, let us know in the comments below!

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