Cyber Security Against Digital Threats For Small Businesses

cyber security

Businesses of all sizes & from any location can use the Internet to reach wider audiences & take advantage of computer-based tools to work more efficiently.

If a company is using cloud computing, email, or maintaining a website, it should always incorporate cybersecurity into its plan.

Digital theft is now the most commonly reported type of fraud, overtaking physical theft. All companies that use the Internet must ensure their security measures are strong to help give customers & businesses peace of mind.

What is Cybersecurity?

cyber security

Protecting internet-connected systems, such as computers, servers, mobile devices, electronic systems, and networks from malicious attacks is known as cybersecurity. It involves two parts: cyber & security. Cyber encompasses the technology which includes systems, networks, programs & data. Security focuses on the protection of these elements as well as information or electronic information security.

What are the main problems with cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is constantly threatened by malicious hackers, data breaches, privacy concerns, risk management issues & ever-changing strategies to protect networks. There is no end in sight to the number of cyberattacks that exist today, especially with the arrival of new technology such as the Internet of Things (IoT). This creates an even bigger problem for keeping systems secure. Key challenges that must be tackled include adapting to new threats, dealing with increased data volume, providing cybersecurity education & training, filling the workforce shortage & addressing third-party risks in the supply chain.

Changing dangers.

The challenge of cybersecurity lies in the ever-evolving security risks. As technologies evolve & are used in different ways, new methods of attack emerge, making it difficult to stay up-to-date with changes & protect against them. This is especially hard for smaller organizations with limited resources or staff that cannot update all aspects of cybersecurity effectively to guard against potential vulnerabilities.

The overwhelming amount of data.

Organizations may collect a lot of personal data from people who use their services. Unfortunately, this makes them more vulnerable to cybercriminals looking to steal PII. For example, if PII is stored in the cloud, it could be subject to a ransomware attack. To protect against such breaches, organizations should take necessary precautions.

Training to be aware of cyber security.

Employees can unintentionally introduce cyber threats onto their laptops or phones, or act recklessly such as clicking links in phishing emails. To prevent this from happening, companies should provide regular security awareness training to employees so they are aware of the risks & how to protect themselves & their organization.

A lack of employees & a difference in needed skills.

The need for cybersecurity staff is growing as businesses collect & use more data. According to (ISC)2, there is a gap of 3.4 million between the current number of security professionals & the amount of personnel needed to address this issue.

Attacks on supply chains & risks from outside sources.

Organizations must take steps to ensure their networks are secure, but if their partners, suppliers, & vendors don’t act securely as well, this effort is wasted. Businesses face a growing challenge of software- & hardware-based supply chain attacks. To combat this risk in the supply chain, organizations should use software bills of materials to reduce software issues.

Why do cyber attackers target small businesses?

Small businesses are often surprised to learn that 46% of data breaches affect them. Starting a small business involves numerous decisions, & cybersecurity can often take a backseat. Without proper security measures, businesses leave themselves vulnerable to hackers & potential breaches.

The average cost of a data breach has increased by 10% in 2021, according to a joint report by IBM & the Ponemon Institute. Verizon’s data shows that 95% of incidents for small businesses cost between $826 & $653,587. Small businesses are more vulnerable to attacks because they lack the resources to adequately protect themselves, making them desirable targets for hackers.

If an SMB experiences a security breach, they often have no choice but to pay ransom in order to recover their data. Additionally, attackers can use small businesses as an entry point into larger enterprises.

What are the various kinds of cybersecurity risks?

Staying up to date with new technologies, security trends & threat intelligence is essential for protecting information & other assets from cyber threats. Threats can take forms, such as:

  • Malware is a type of harmful software that can be used to damage or disrupt a computer user’s data. Examples of malware include worms, viruses, Trojans & spyware.
  • An attacker can lock the files on a victim’s computer system & demand payment to unlock them. This type of malicious activity is known as ransomware.
  • Social engineering is a type of attack that involves manipulating people into revealing confidential information or breaking security protocols. It relies on exploiting human interaction to gain access to otherwise protected data.
  • Phishing is a type of cyber attack that uses deceptive messages, usually sent via email or text, to try & get personal data such as credit card numbers or login credentials. These messages are designed to look like they come from a trusted source.
  • Spear phishing is a type of phishing attack that targets specific users, organizations, or businesses.
  • Security breaches or losses caused by people, such as employees, contractors, or customers, are known as insider threats. These threats can be intentional or due to carelessness.
  • A Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack is when multiple systems send too much traffic to a target, such as a server, website, or other network resources. This causes the system to slow down or crash, blocking legitimate users from accessing it.
  • APTs are hacking attempts that target a specific network over an extended period of time, without being detected, with the goal of stealing data.
  • In a Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attack, an attacker secretly intercepts & passes on messages between two unsuspecting parties who think they are talking directly to each other.

Common types of cyberattacks include botnets, drive-by downloads, exploit kits, malvertising, vishing, credential stuffing, cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks, SQL injection attacks, business email compromise (BEC), & zero-day exploits.

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The advantages of having & keeping up with cybersecurity measures include:

  • Protecting businesses from cyberattacks & data breaches.
  • Protecting data & networks.
  • Preventing unauthorized people from accessing a system.
  • Reduced downtime following a security incident.
  • Protecting end users & their devices.
  • Complying with regulations.
  • Ensuring the continued functioning of a business.
  • The company’s reputation & trust have increased among developers, partners, customers, stakeholders & employees.

Cybersecurity Tips for Small Businesses

Small businesses can benefit from the use of broadband & information technology by reaching new markets and increasing productivity & efficiency. However, to protect their own business, customers & data from cyber threats, they must have a cybersecurity strategy in place.

Train employees on security principles.

Employees should be required to use strong passwords & follow company guidelines on how to use the internet safely. Rules of behavior should also be put in place that describe how to handle & protect customer information & other sensitive data. Violations of these cybersecurity policies will result in penalties.

Protect computers, networks, & information from cyber attacks.

To protect yourself against viruses, malware, & other online threats, make sure to keep your machines up-to-date with the latest security software, web browser, & operating system. Set your antivirus software to run a scan after every update & install other key software updates as soon as possible.

Secure your Internet connection with a firewall.

Firewalls are programs that protect a private network’s data from being accessed by outsiders. To make sure your network is secure, enable your operating system’s firewall or download free firewall software online. If employees work remotely, ensure their home systems have firewalls enabled as well.

Create an action plan for using mobile devices.

To protect confidential information & secure corporate networks, users should password-protect their mobile devices, encrypt data stored on them, & install security apps when connected to public networks. In addition, it is important to have procedures in place for reporting lost or stolen equipment.

Back up important business data & information.

Back up the data on all computers regularly, including documents, spreadsheets, databases, financial files, HR files & AR/AP files. Set up automatic backups if possible or do it weekly. Store copies off-site or in the cloud.

Limit physical access to your computers & create separate user accounts for each employee.

Secure business computers from unauthorized access or usage. Lock laptops when not in use to prevent theft or loss. Create individual user accounts & require strong passwords for each employee. Only grant administrative privileges to trusted IT staff & necessary personnel.

Secure your home Wi-Fi networks.

To protect your workplace Wi-Fi network, make sure that it is secure & encrypted. You can also hide the network by configuring your wireless access point or router to not broadcast the Service Set Identifier (SSID). Additionally, password protection should be enabled for access to the router.

Practice the best methods for using payment cards.

Work with banks & payment processors to make sure secure, validated tools & anti-fraud services are being used. Agreements with your bank may require additional security measures. Keep payment systems separate from other programs, & don’t use the same computer for payments & browsing the web.

Restrict employees’ access to data & information, & limit their ability to install the software.

Ensure that employees only have access to the data systems they require for their job duties, & do not give them permission to install any software without approval.

Passwords & authentication are used to provide security.

Employees should have different passwords and update them every three months. Additionally, multi-factor authentication can provide extra security by requiring more than just a password to access an account. Ask vendors that manage sensitive data, such as financial institutions, if they offer this type of authentication for your accounts.


Cybercrime is becoming more advanced, but so are the solutions to secure businesses from it. There are many ways to protect devices & networks, as well as secure file-sharing methods. If a breach does occur, there are also ways to recover from it. Cybersecurity is in place to keep businesses digitally safe; with the right strategies in place, companies can stay well protected.

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