How to Keep Your Business Safe From Cybersecurity Threats

How to Keep Your Business Safe From Cybersecurity Threats

As a small or medium-sized business owner, you may not think your data is vulnerable. Unfortunately, this simply isn’t the case.

Approximately 28% of all cyberattacks involve a small business. Remember, all data is valuable, which means it is up to you to take steps to protect the data you have.

Don’t worry, you aren’t on your own. Use the tips and information here to keep your business’s data safe and secure. While there are no 100% guarantees, the tips here will help you achieve this goal.

Get to Know the Different Types of Threats

When it comes to cyber security, knowing what threats are “out there” is essential. With technology being used with virtually every task you take on, the cybercrime industry has grown significantly.

With each new access port, feature, and functionality technology makes possible, there are also new opportunities for cyber-thieves and hackers. Because of you, one of the first things you must do is educate yourself about the most common attacks that occur.

Malware or Hacking

This is extremely common and something that all small businesses need to be aware of. It includes all types of malicious software, such as worms, viruses, ransomware, and spyware.

Zero-Day Exploit

A zero-day exploit occurs once a network vulnerability has been discovered. While the software manufacturer may be working on a patch, cybercriminals take advantage of the vulnerability while it is there.


A phishing attack may target you or your employees. It consists of fraudulent communication that looks like it is from a reputable source.

Usually, this attack is orchestrated via email.

SQL (Structured Query Language) Injection

It takes place when attackers put malicious code into your SQL server. It then forces the server to display proprietary and sensitive data.

Denial-of-Service Attacks

The hacker will flood your network, server, or system with so much traffic that all resources are taken up. This leads to you being unable to do anything until the problem is resolved.

MitM (Man in the Middle) Attacks

It takes place if an attacker puts themselves in a two-person or two-party transaction. Usually, this event occurs if you are using public Wi-Fi networks or through malware.

It may make it difficult to know what you can do to safeguard your business’s information with so many different threats. There are some best practices you should implement.

Implement a Training Program for Employees

Employees are one of the most exploited vulnerabilities for any business. It has been proven that hacking commonly occurs when devices aren’t protected or if they are left out and unattended.

A threat incident may occur if an employee does not know how to implement safeguards to protect the system from falling into nefarious hands.

Now is a good time to implement an employee training program to teach them how to protect their devices. The right cyber defenses are dependent on ensuring your workforce is fully educated on what to do.

Determine Your Top Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities

It is smart to conduct a cybersecurity risk assessment. When you do this, you can find areas where your business is vulnerable, which will help you create a plan of action.

You can use government tools to help you with the cybersecurity risk assessment.

  • FCC cybersecurity planning tool
  • Cyber Essentials from CISA
  • Cyber Resilience Review
  • Cyber hygiene vulnerability scanning from DHS

These tools are going to help you figure out where changes and securities are needed.

Install a Firewall for Network Protection

You need to install a firewall for your business’s network. If you already have one, try to assess its capabilities.

For example, is it monitoring both outgoing and incoming traffic? Does the firewall prevent threatening intrusions, such as viruses? And does it manage bandwidth to help your network operate efficiently?

The firewall you have installed is the coverage and dataflow center of your entire IT infrastructure. It requires ongoing monitoring to ensure your network remains secure against old and new threats.

Secure Everything with Strong Passwords

You need to use strong passwords for everything. You also need to ensure your employees are using strong passwords.

Along with establishing strong passwords, you must ensure they are changed often. This is something that should be included in the training mentioned above.

Protect and Back-Up Sensitive Data

Even though firewalls and other tech-related protections are important to prevent cyberattacks, you should also use physical protections.

One example would be to lock up company computers or devices when they aren’t in use. This can help prevent any unauthorized access.

It is also important to back up files regularly to help reduce your business’s susceptibility to a ransomware attack.

Use a VPN

Do your employees work outside of the office? If so, it is essential to utilize a VPN or Virtualized Personal Network. With a VPN, you can have confidence that you have secure access to the internet.

You can implement a VPN in your office and ensure that employees can go into the field without the risk of leaking sensitive information. Be sure to research the different VPN options to find one that suits your business’s needs and budget.

Increase Email Security

Approximately 50% of all email attachments occurred from email attachments from different office files.

Now is the time to implement a basic email safety protocol. This includes things like not opening suspicious links or attachments.

If you collect or receive personal data from customers or clients, make sure you encrypt documents. This ensures the recipient and sender have the required passcode to open it.

Update Your Software

It is important to make sure that your security software and operating system are updated regularly. If possible, set this up, so it happens automatically.

Most updates include security upgrades to protect against recent attacks and viruses. With most updates, you can schedule them to occur after you close for the day or pick another time.

You should never ignore update prompts. These are designed to fix potentially serious security flaws.

Track All Devices

Make sure you have systems in place to track software and hardware resources in your business. You can use tools to identify files to ensure they are protected from harm.

Taking an inventory of software and services will help you keep all your business assets secure.

Secure Your Business Wi-Fi Network

Wi-Fi equipment will not be secure when you purchase it. While your device has a built-in, default password, make sure you encrypt it with a unique one.

When setting up the router, you will probably have to choose from several types of passwords. The most secure is a WPA2 or Wi-Fi Protected Access II code.

It is also smart to hide the network. This means the router won’t broadcast the presence or name of the network.

If clients or customers require Wi-Fi access, you can create a “guest” account. This can use unique security measures and passwords. This prevents anyone from gaining access to your main business network.

Activate Spam Filters

You can use spam filters to help reduce the phishing and spam emails your business receives. These can be used to infect your devices with malware or to steal sensitive information.

If you have received a phishing or spam emails, you should delete them immediately. By activating a spam filter, you can reduce the possibility of your employees opening spam or activating a link accidentally.

Protect Payment Processors

Work with your payment processor or bank to make sure you have installed all updates. The more complex the payment system is, the more difficult it will be to fully secure.

While this is true, it is still necessary to take the appropriate steps to do this.

Protect Your Customers

You must keep customer’s information safe. If you compromise or lose this information, it can damage your business reputation. This may also result in costly consequences.

To do this, be sure that your business provides a secure online environment for all transactions and that you secure all stored customer information.

Protecting Data Is Your Job

If you collect it, protecting data is an absolute necessity. You can use the tips and information here to ensure that you get the results desired for your company.

It will also help you put the proper safeguards in place to ensure company data is not compromised.

For more practical help, information, and resources, be sure to check out our other blogs. Our goal is to help keep you informed and ensure you have the latest information on trends and things that are going on.







Trevor Anderson wrote this article on behalf of FreeUp. FreeUp is the fastest-growing freelance marketplace in the US. FreeUp only accepts the top 1% of freelance applicants. Click here to get access to the top freelancers in the world.  






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