Small Business Cybersecurity: How to Keep Your Digital Assets Secure

When it comes to cyberattacks, many believe that it’s something that only happens to celebrities and big corporations. However, reports show that 43 percent of cyberattacks target small businesses.

In fact, small business cybersecurity is an increasing concern in the midst of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. If you look at it from the perpetrator’s point of view, small businesses are much easier targets. They generally lack cybersecurity basics like a smaller budget and lack an IT staff to protect themselves from online attacks.

If you have a small business, keep reading to learn how you can improve your business’s cybersecurity with methods, tips and other advice.

Understanding Common Cyberattacks for Increased Small Business Cybersecurity

There are many kinds of cyberattacks, and they’re constantly evolving to evade even the best cybersecurity methods. The best way to defend your small business is by understanding the most common types of cyberattacks.

These include:

  • Phishing
  • Malware
  • Viruses
  • Ransomware

Phishing is a type of cyberattack that tricks members of your business into clicking malicious links. These links often appear to be authentic and seem to come from a legitimate source.

However, clicking the link infects the device with malware that allows cybercriminals to steal sensitive information. Phishing also includes other types of social engineering, such as phone calls to get individuals to disclose otherwise sensitive information.

Malware is an umbrella term for any type of software with a direct objective of damaging your server, network, device or client. Phishing is included under this umbrella term, as well as viruses and ransomware.

Viruses have the goal of infecting a device to leave a system vulnerable. Ransomware operates like a virus but is generally delivered like a phishing scam through an email. Without proper cybersecurity protocols, it will hold a system hostage until the ransom is paid.

Business Cybersecurity Tips

Once you have a solid understanding of the various types of cyberattacks, you must have a plan in place containing small business cybersecurity advice and protocols.

1. Employ Security-Conscious Employee Training

Cybersecurity works best when everyone works as a team. That means all employees should be trained to be security-conscious. This includes:

  • Creating strong passwords that are reset regularly
  • Being aware of red flags that indicate a phishing email or if a file may be malicious
  • Protocols that let employees know what to do in the event a phishing email or a malicious file is discovered
  • Keeping devices, browsers and software up to date

Additionally, small businesses should follow FCC guidelines on handling customer data and internet use.

2. Use Antivirus and Security Software

One of the most important weapons for a small business is to use the right antivirus and security software. Antivirus software is generally expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. You can use a Microsoft Defender, which is free for Windows and security software like Certus data erasing.

3. Back up Files and Secure Wi-Fi Networks

Even with complex cybersecurity protocols in place, criminals can still compromise your data. Consider using backup programs to help mitigate the risk of any stolen, deleted or compromised data.

You can even find programs that back up data on a schedule or automatically in the event you forget. Once you back up your files, ensure that you keep a copy offline just in case. Lastly, you must always secure, encrypt and hide your business’ Wi-Fi, and your router must be password protected.

Protecting Your Small Business

Small business cybersecurity is to be taken seriously. Although it may seem more profitable for criminals to target larger corporations and companies, the lack of cybersecurity protocols and the ease of penetrating a system makes small businesses a much easier target.

If you find this post helpful, check out some of our other recent blogs for more cybersecurity tips!