Business Security

Protecting Your Small Business: A Cybersecurity Guide

Image by vishnu vijayan from Pixabay

The steady improvement of technology, particularly the internet, has made life easy for many business owners. From advertising to processing orders and payments all the way up to engaging with customers… 

No one can deny the convenience of the internet. Yet this ease of use is also a double-edged sword, seeing it has become easier for your business to get hacked. 

While cyberattacks on large firms often make a big splash in the news, small businesses are prime targets too. In fact, small businesses often fall victim to cyberattacks, and many of these never recover, closing soon after a devastating attack. Despite these concerns, most business owners still don’t formulate a response plan in order to prepare themselves if, or when they are attacked. 

This lack of a response plan is concerning news, as attacks on small businesses are becoming more prevalent. Cybersecurity experts have noted that attacks are on the rise, and law enforcement confirms this worrying bit of news. This begs the question: Why aren’t small businesses more concerned with cybersecurity?

Small Businesses and Cybersecurity

It may seem like a cliché, but small businesses are the pulsing lifeblood of the US economy. Statistics show that 44 percent of American economic activity is generated by small businesses. Not only that, they create new jobs and drive innovation.

Given how important small businesses are to economic growth, why aren’t they more concerned about securing their data? 

One answer is the perceived cost of cybersecurity solutions. Many business owners cling to the idea that with the limited resources at their disposal, they need to fund obvious priorities, including marketing and product development. 

The growing use of technology, however, should make you rethink this position. Failing to realize that investing in cybersecurity is vital to your operations doesn’t make sense.

Failing to prevent or respond to a cyberattack can have devastating consequences and take an enormous toll on a small business. There is loss of time and profit from downtime due to a cyberattack and the critical loss of data that can result in. 

Your brand’s reputation can also take a serious hit as well, making potential customers leery of trusting your business. 

If that wasn’t enough, the cost of recovering from a cyberattack has gone up as well. Small business owners will end up having to spend up to $20,000 to recover from a data breach, dealing an often-fatal blow to a business.

Defending Against Cyberattacks

It’s not all doom and gloom, however. Many of the most common cyberattacks can be spotted and stopped in their tracks using a wide variety of readily available tools and some simple security training. Let’s take a quick look at a few of these tips and tricks that can improve your data security.

Improve Your Password Protection

Protecting your computers and network with a password is a no-brainer. But if you want to make the most out of your password protection, then you’ll have to follow stricter guidelines.

First off, make sure that you and your employees are using strong passwords that are difficult to guess. Never use the same password you use for personal accounts on your business devices. Be sure that each personal account has its own, unique password, and they are updated regularly. Password management software is also a good idea, allowing you to manage and organize user passwords.

Firewalls Are Your Friend

Firewalls are an essential piece of your small businesses’ cybersecurity. They are your first line of defense against cyberattacks, defending your network and devices from intrusion. Installing and configuring a firewall to your business helps stop many common attacks, and when combined with good cybersecurity practices, makes for a solid defense against cyberattacks.

Protect Your Computers

It’s best you always keep your workplace computers safe via regular system updates, as well as installing security software and scanning your computers regularly for malware.

Train Your Employees in Basic Cybersecurity Practices

You and your employees need to be on the same page when it comes to cybersecurity, and be sure your employees know and follow data security rules

Monitor the Use of Personal Devices

Many small enterprises do not have the resources to provide computers and devices for their employees. This often means the employee has to bring and use their own device. 

When this is the case, ask your employees to protect their devices with passwords and to encrypt their data. You may want to also request that they Install security apps and monitoring software.

If You Use Wi-Fi, Keep It Secure

If you have office wi-fi, be sure that your wireless network is secure. Setup your wireless access point to hide its Service Set Identifier, or SSID. Also keep your router free from unauthorized access by password protecting it.

Limit Employee Access

Avoid providing any single employee with access to all of your business data. Instead, allow your employees access only to data that is important only to their individual tasks. As an extra security measure, also prevent your employees from installing software on business computers without explicit, written permission.

Back Up Your Data

Remember to backup all your business data on a regular basis. These include documents, spreadsheets, and financial files. Set up an automatic backup, if possible, and store your backup files off-site or on the cloud.

Plan for Cyberattacks

At the end of the day, every small business owner needs to have a plan for dealing with a cyberattack. Consult an IT professional or work with your in-house IT staff and formally prepare for these events. Having a backup plan in place will make recovering from an attack easier and less costly.

The Bottomline

While a data breach can be difficult to deal with, it’s not always the end of the world. By taking the right steps to address cybersecurity and working with the right people, your small business can survive a cyberattack, or even prevent it from happening. Be alert and be ready. Your business depends on it. 

About the author


Jake Eisenberg

A motivated, strong-minded individual with a passion for internet marketing. I developed a managed-workforce-provider for companies looking to strengthen their brand, generate more meetings, and increase their sales.