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Cyberthreat protection: Expert advice for SMB CIOs

With online attacks on the rise, SMBs must ensure their cyberthreat protection programs are up to snuff. We've rounded up some relevant news and tips.

Small and medium-sized businesses can ill afford to ignore the pressing need for cybersecurity. Cyberattacks against smaller organizations are on the rise with each passing year, studies show, and security plans are now at the forefront of the IT strategic planning process. Though SMBs often lack the funds to purchase elaborate tools aimed at cyberthreat protection like those in many larger enterprises, smaller organizations can still craft a cybersecurity strategy using less-pricy resources.

We've uncovered some of the best tips, how-tos and expert advice across SearchCIO-Midmarket's sister sites specifically designed to assist SMB CIOs and IT leaders in their cyberthreat protection efforts. Establishing cybersecurity readiness as a priority at your organization can increase your chances of protecting sensitive data -- and that could ultimately mean the difference between staying in business and falling prey to a paralyzing attack.

Keep calm and carry on with cybersecurity

Security threats are becoming more sophisticated and widespread but, despite that grim fact, SMB IT leaders need not sink into despair. By drawing upon resources and capabilities that currently exist in the IT department, SMBs can keep those daunting risks at bay. Here's some advice for SMBs to consider when preparing for a security threat. It starts with working out what truly drives your particular business, so you can better understand what information must be protected.

Education can keep you one step ahead of cybercrime

Technical, procedural and managerial expertise all come into play as SMBs look to improve their cybersecurity practices, but it's important to remember that there's no one-size-fits-all remedy. Rather, CIOs must understand where their organization's cyberthreat protection strategy needs to improve, what needs to change and how to make those distinctions. Find out how proper cybersecurity education -- or is it cybersecurity training? -- will abet your company's security and risk management efforts.

Five steps toward constructing a security management strategy

Some IT leaders at SMBs don't realize that they face many of the same security risks as their counterparts at larger enterprises. In identifying your SMB needs around cybersecurity, consider the five steps in this piece, which include assessing your information and infrastructure scope, understanding the cyberthreats and estimating the damages your organization could incur without a sturdy security management plan.

Lack of cybersecurity safeguards make SMBs a target

"Cybercriminals' ingenuity knows no bounds" is a scary thought for anybody working in IT, but especially for the heads of smaller IT organizations. With cyberattacks on the rise, IT departments must strategize in order to thwart these ever-present threats. This in-depth feature details expert approaches to protecting sensitive information, protecting your organization in the face of attackers who "jiggle a lot of cyber doorknobs."

Symantec's 2013 threat report shows SMB attacks on the rise

CIOs, if you're not yet convinced that cybercrime is a real threat to your organization, we've found more proof. Symantec's "2013 Internet Security Threat Report" indicates that attackers are broadening their search for targets, specifically aiming their cyber-arrows at SMBs with weak cyberthreat protection systems in place. This article lays out why and how cybercriminals identify data-laden SMBs and the tactics they use to compromise these organizations.

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