Story image

Simple tips for SMB security

07 May 12

SMB owners are almost always short of time, and that can make prioritising tasks like security a real challenge.

However, by taking care of the simple things like keeping their software updated, SMBs can still protect themselves from the majority of attacks, according to AVG security advisor Michael McKinnon. 

"Most SME owners are time poor and so security ends up last on a long list of things things to do,” McKinnon told Start Up. "I would really like to see them stop and think proactively from time to time.”

Traditionally businesses have thought of security software as being the moat around the castle, McKinnon says.

"They need to understand that hackers and spammers are now using hang gliders and pole vaults to get over that moat.”

All joking aside, McKinnon points out that the first, not to mention the easiest, step in keeping your company system safe is ensuring your devices are all running up to date software, especially when malware masquerading as antivirus is an ever-increasing problem.

"Fake software looks legitimate but also looks very generic,” McKinnon says."If you are keeping up with your updates, it will be easier to spot the fakes.”

McKinnon also disputes the worry surrounding the BYOD phenomenon. 

"BYOD is not new for SMBs, what’s new is what we can do with the devices and the potential access to files through those devices. The question becomes how do you safeguard the information?”

Ensuring all devices are password protected is the first step, followed closely by making devices traceable. Both the iOS and Android operating systems have a variety of apps available to do just that. 

"The solutions are there,” McKinnon says, "it’s a matter of taking advantage.”

Around 40% of companies only find out their system has been compromised when a client alerts them to the breach, and McKinnon advises listening closely when clients point out anomalies with your site.

"If a client calls you saying they have only used their credit card once and they are being repeatedly charged for transactions on your site, you need to start listening closely.”


  1. Keep your system up to date

  2. Insist on up to date protection on all devices accessing your system

  3. Protect mobile devices with passwords and apps for tracing lost or stolen devices

  4. Listen to your clients. 

Report finds GCSB in compliance with NZ rights
The Inspector-General has given the GCSB its compliance tick of approval for the fourth year in a row.
Preparing for e-invoicing requirements
The New Zealand and Australian governments are working on a joint approach to create trans-Tasman standards to e-invoicing that’ll make it easier for businesses in both countries work with each other and across the globe
5c more per share: Trade Me bidding war heats up
Another bidder has entered the bidding arena as the potential sale of Trade Me kicks up a notch.
Hootsuite's five social trends marketers should take note of
These trends should keep marketers, customer experience leaders, social media professionals and executives awake at night.
Company-X celebrates ranking on Deloitte's Fast 500 Asia Pacific
Hamilton-based software firm Company-X has landed a spot on Deloitte Technology’s Fast 500 Asia Pacific 2018 ranking - for the second year in a row.
Entrepreneur reactivates business engagement in AU Super funds
10 million workers leave it up to employers to choose their Super fund for them – and the majority of employers are just as passive and unengaged at putting that fund to work.
Tether: The Kiwi startup fighting back against cold, damp homes
“Mould and mildew are the new asbestos. But unlike asbestos, detecting the presence – or conditions that encourage growth – of mould and mildew is nearly impossible."
Capitalising on exponential IT
"Exponential IT must be a way of life, not just an endpoint."