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Small businesses usually prioritize something other than cybersecurity, thinking hackers only go for big and established companies. It's for this wrong notion that most small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are generally under-protected. Reluctance to invest startup funds in cyber protection and data privacy also leads to lax security protocols. Hackers know this and exploit this vulnerability to inject malware and steal data in unprotected systems used by small businesses. It has to stop. If you love your business, the first thing you need to do is safeguard it on all fronts, including digitally.

Small businesses usually use a moderate amount of data with minimal security. Hackers can use the stolen information to steal money, employee details, customer data, vendor information, and even customer's sensitive details. There is nothing that can damage your reputation as fast as the latter. Data breaches have cost millions lost in companies worldwide, big and small alike.

A recent report by Ponemon showed that only 30% of small businesses are prepared for cyberattacks and data breaches. It's a lack of personnel (77%), lack of budget (55%), and lack of know-how (45%) that is keeping the rest of small businesses vulnerable.

By 2020, a significant business's average cost of a data security breach would be over $150 million. The higher the level of digitalization or connectivity, the higher the cost to insure and protect it.

To ensure proper protection, you must prioritize your small business's cybersecurity to avoid loss. It is imperative when you build up your small business cybersecurity. Here are tips on how to improve your small business's cybersecurity:

Secure Your Wi-Fi Networks

Connecting to an unsecured network allows hackers to steal your info. Only using secure and encrypted Wi-Fi networks will prevent the Service Set Identifier (SSID) from being broadcast. You can set up the Wi-Fi to deter employees from knowing the password. You can also set up a separate network for guests if you want to open Wi-Fi for customers. Guests should have different Wi-Fi access than employees to prevent unwanted people from joining your private business Wi-Fi network.

Strengthen your Wi-Fi encryption to keep intruders out of your system. The types of Wi-Fi protection systems often used are the following: WEP or Wired Equivalent Privacy is a security protocol in the IEEE Wireless Fidelity or Wi-Fi standard, 802.11b. It provides a WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) with the same security and privacy as a wired LAN.
WPA or Wi-Fi Protected Access is a security protocol like WEP but better at handling security keys and user-authorization procedures for systems or networks. WPA uses the TKIP (Temporal Key Integrity Protocol) that routinely modifies critical systems, which prevents attackers from creating duplicate encryption keys to hack your system.

WPA2 or Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 is a security method added to the WPA that boosts data protection and network access. Based on the IEEE 802.11i standard, WPA2 provides government-standard security. Only authorized users can access wireless networks. It comes either as WPA2-Personal or WPA2-Enterprise.
Wi-Fi Networks
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Some businesses use Wi-Fi routers with WPS (Wireless protection setups) and link devices via WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access). A RADIUS server is needed to use WPA in enterprise or corporate mode because physical storage is required for all login information.

Create a Password Policy and Change it Often.

A secure password should contain lower-case letters, capitals, a unique character, a number, and a minimum of 20 digits to be considered vital. You can use password generator apps to produce uniquely solid passwords and change them routinely, even if an employee leaks the password to unauthorized individuals. It will minimize the risks because you regularly change passwords.

Limit password access to your company's IT personnel or team. Let them input the passwords directly into devices authorized for your business instead of releasing passwords to staff. Avoid giving Wi-Fi access to employee's personal devices. It may seem selfish to those who want free Wi-Fi access, but there are many good reasons to do so.

Firstly, suppose employees use their personal devices to work and log into the business network. In that case, they will be accountable to the IT department to submit their devices for checking and other security protocols. If it's against company policy to download unoriginal software, it applies to their devices, too. If access to malicious and unsecured sites is not allowed, it follows when they use their own device during company hours. If the use of Facebook and other social media platforms is not allowed on your company's network, it is not permitted on their devices, too, even if they own it.

In short, they need to relinquish some authority over their device to follow company security and data privacy protocols, which may get complicated at times. It is better not to allow personal devices on the company's network or to limit this privilege to trusted employees.

Secondly, a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) system is also a vulnerability because you open more gateways than necessary for hackers to access. Hackers are getting increasingly ingenious, and it only takes one careless instance with an unsuspecting employee to open the doors wide for cyberattacks.

These added steps may be cumbersome but make your security protection more robust. Teach your staff members also to employ best practices in their own devices. Build a culture of cyber safety in your company that can influence others as well. Cybersecurity is a top priority, and keeping your data safe matters.
Small Business’ Cybersecurity
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Limit Data Access

Unauthorized people, even trusted ones, should not have access to company computers and accounts. You must include this in your security protocols and have it in black-and-white so your IT team will not have difficulty implementing such "strict" measures. Monitoring each employee's cyber interactions can be tiresome and time-consuming. You need to establish policies on how employees should protect identifiable information and other sensitive data to avoid the trouble of continually checking cyber interactions done through the company's network.

Data access needs to be classified and quantified, depending on the employee and the scope of their responsibility. Add layers of security, like requiring new passwords, encryption, security questions, and the like. It is best to give each employee their login so the IT team can monitor the use of the network and access points of hackers in case of an attack. Limiting your employees' privileges is in their best interest because it protects your business better, which also protects them.

Create Backups

Creating backups of your files and information should not even be a question. Require routine back-ups from everyone in the team, facilitated by your IT personnel, as a precaution if attacks or data breaches do happen. It is also best to use cloud storage instead. This way, your data remains secure in the cloud no matter what happens to your physical devices. Invest in getting ample cloud storage for your business. In case of any disaster or ransomware attack, you should be able to recover all the critical data.

You may not see this as necessary now, but it is. If information is stolen or goes missing and you only store everything on physical devices such as a server, retrieval of everything you lose is never guaranteed. Prevention is better than cure, and going all out to the best of what you can afford regarding security software and data privacy is a worthy investment. Take action before an attack happens before ensuring rigid protection for your business, something that, sadly, some companies do.

You can also use the strategy of the 3-2-1 approach, which translates to three copies of the backup on two different media and one copy securely stored offsite or in the cloud. Another effective technique is air-gapped backups, which securely place a copy of your data in an inaccessible location disconnected from the internet.

Antivirus and Antimalware Protection

Antivirus and Antimalware
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You must have professional-grade and current security software in all systems and networks. All apps and software must be regularly updated. Install your devices' latest operating systems (OS) and software. Updated software and OS will have the latest bug fixes or patches installed.

Hackers continue to produce ways of attack, and security software continues to provide patches and bug fixes. Avoiding updates puts your devices and systems at high risk. You can be hacked in many ways, but there are ways to prevent these attacks and fight against cyberattacks at the onset. A Kaspersky antivirus would be beneficial because it protects users from malware and is primarily designed for computers running Microsoft Windows and macOS.

Train your Employees to Recognize Common Cybersecurity Threats

Provide regular security awareness training to your employees to ensure the security of your business. To stay ahead of sophisticated cyber threats, small businesses can significantly benefit from solutions like Cyware Cyber Threat Intelligence, which offers advanced insights and real-time monitoring to help identify and mitigate potential cyber risks efficiently. Create a cybersecurity policy that is understandable to all and easy to implement. It should contain cybersecurity best practices that you expect employees to follow.

Even if you have the best technical support staff, who can handle more technical cybersecurity measures like cyber threat hunting, employees can sometimes mistakably cause breaches if not trained appropriately. You should also train your employees to know common cyberattacks and how to prevent them, like identifying phishing and spear-phishing attacks. Phishing and spear-phishing are the most effective ways for hackers to attack a target. Unguarded and unaware employees of a company are the usual targets.

Always Use Multifactor Authentication on Business Accounts

Multifactor Authentication on Business Accounts

Multifactor authentication on business accounts should be set up even in personal and corporate accounts. It adds an extra layer of security, making it harder for cyber attackers to get into your bills, not your business or employees. Multifactor authentication may include a phone number, email address, or a security question.

Security apps, even your browsers, will send notifications of logins from unknown sources. Pay attention to these messages, and if you recognize something needs to be corrected, inform your IT team immediately. The first step is to change all passwords directly, and in case of suspected malicious attacks, the IT team must get to work right away in scanning and securing the system.


Cybersecurity is vital to any small business, even when the budget isn't necessarily there to support a significant IT initiative.

Introducing and implementing a complete cybersecurity program takes more than an hour. You won't be completely safe from attacks by making a few quick changes, but you can take drastic strides forward in 60 minutes or less.

No matter how big or small, the nature of your business may attract more than what you bargained for; you don't work as hard as you do for your business to fall victim to cyber-attacks! Cybersecurity is more than having a firewall or antivirus program. With the proper precautions, adequate computer security is within reach.