Small Business Brief

Technology & Software

Cybersecurity for Small Business: Is It Worth It? (Hint: It Is! Here’s Why)

Imagine your team clocks in, boots up, and…nothing.

Ransomware riddles your small business systems, locking out your team. Your phones are lighting up, customers can’t complete orders. The dread sets in as it’s becoming clear that private files may have leaked to the Web.

No, this isn’t a scene from a movie. 

Forgoing cybersecurity for small business has serious repercussions like the example. In fact, the average small business attack costs upwards of $148,000.

Can you afford this potential revenue loss? Could you survive?

Keep reading to learn how cyber attacks happen. And, what your business can do to stop (or at least mitigate) the damage.

Don’t Let Hackers Wipe Your Assets: Cybersecurity for Small Business 101

Cybersecurity is more than a system’s software and monitoring. Small business security is a homogenized set of best practices and policies. Everyone should be onboard with security from the front desk to third-party vendors.

The Common Types of Hacks, Attacks, and Exploits

Cybersecurity begins by knowing how attacks happen. This helps your business prevent intrusions and exploits before they happen.

Common exploits include:

  • Denial of Service — Floods and overloads systems usually through botnets
  • Phishing — Spoofing resources/authority and gaining access to accounts
  • Keylogging — Installing software/hardware to record keystrokes

You’ll find viruses, malware, and trojans a common exploit, too. These programs and/or infected files spread through the network, disrupting productivity. Some viruses lockout users or send data back to the attacker.

Attacks on your business’s Web technologies are common. SQL injections infecting your databases can bring down sites and apps. Man-in-the-Middle attacks can hijack sessions, spoof resources, and expose user data. 

It’s not a matter of if but when these attacks happen…leading us to:

How to Mitigate Security Breaches and Fallout

Half of all small businesses in the States have experienced a cyber attack. Your days are numbered so the best you can do is prepare.

1. Train the workforce and create a policy

Take a tri-pronged approach to security:

  1. Have employees take cybersecurity training courses
  2. Stay up-to-date with industry compliance (read more)
  3. Create a policy to manage and dictate the security

Use security classes on on-site workshops to help your team identify potential risks. Adapt to industry changes and needs by following security experts. And, use policies as roadblocks for security negligence. 

2. Setup preventative measures

Cover your bases from hardware to wetware:

  • Network and user monitoring
  • Encrypted storage drives
  • Data recovery programs
  • Antivirus and malware protection

Account for the physical security of your business, too. Audit the protocols with allowing individuals in and around the hardware. Prevent employee access in areas they aren’t needed since internal attacks do happen.

3. Have a Fallout Plan

Create and prime a disaster recovery plan when attacks happen. This lets you recover before more systems fail, creating a chain reaction.

Address your customers and investors:

  1. Announce the breach took place
  2. Explain the extent of the damages
  3. Offer a plan to fix the issues

It’s hard regaining trust if you’re slow to recover when handling the situation. Transparency could save your business vs keeping users in-the-dark. 

The Single Point of Failure: You

You are the business leader and with this position comes the need to take charge of its security. Hackers find and exploit whatever opening they can. Don’t make your ignorance of cybersecurity be your business’s undoing.

Explore the cybersecurity for small business options before it’s too late.

Stay up-to-date with the latest trends and happenings in the security world. And, learn everything you can about business security in our computer security archive.