Be Secure Online Blog

Essential Cyber Security Guide for Small Business

How to protect your company from the inevitable cyber attack

cyber security threat to business, passoword manager
Closing the gate on IT security threats in 2022

Updated April 2022: IT Cybersecurity incidents have a devastating impact on businesses and small home offices, with an average loss in 2019 costing over $330,000 per incident according to London insurer Hiscox (who has a vested interest in selling cyber insurance). However, the loss of data and reputation can't be measured. Therefore, professional service companies are such a sweet target.

That's why IT specialists and cybersecurity experts recommend action. Any action is better than nothing and could reduce the impact of most common incidents. 

The worldwide CVOVID19 lockdown means small business owners take charge of their cyber defences, being so reliant on the internet to sustain a business. While you may not want to dedicate time to understanding the complexities of cybersecurity, the future of your business may well depend on you doing so. 

This guide is for small business owners who have any form of digital assets (this can be anything connected, even a simple business email). Invest a little of your time so that your business can continue to grow, innovate, and create value for your customers.

Types of Cyber Security Threats

With so many types of attacks that hackers can carry out, business owners should at least note some key tangents. Regardless of their main aim, any of these methods can cause harm to your business in ways that might take ages to unravel, if at all.

Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) 

These long-term targeted attacks are intended to steal, spy, or disrupt. Intrusion into networks may be carried out stealthily and in various stages. Once they have access, cybercriminals might wait for a long time – waiting for strategic moments to strike.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) 

DDoS attacks are intended to disrupt the operations of a network or website by flooding it with requests and information. When the server can no longer cope with the flood, services will start failing and eventually shut down.

british airways fined £280 million for data breach
BA fined £280ml for leaking passenger details, incl credit card details - BA paid during C-19


Phishing is a very common cybersecurity threat. It is the act of sending fraudulent emails that resemble legitimate ones to entice recipients to send back sensitive data. Phishing attacks normally aim to capture user credentials such as usernames and passwords, or even financial information. 


Over the past number of years, Ransomware has gained popularity and targets a wide range of victims. Unknowing victims may find their entire hard drives encrypted with a note asking them to pay a ‘ransom’ for a decryption key. Users who don’t pay normally lose all their data.

world rugby board fined for data loss
World Rugby breached all the details of WC Tickets buyers for the last 20 years

Cyber-securing your Business

For small businesses aiming to ensure that their networks have a chance to be protected against common attacks, installing basic security software is essential. However, software alone may not be sufficient.

Let’s consider the ways that data can flow for many businesses;

  • Confidential communications may be sent via email
  • Devices in and out of the office may transmit data wirelessly
  • Individual devices might be connected directly to the Internet
  • Remote workers may log in to company servers
  • Colleagues may use messaging apps to communicate
  • and more.

As you can see, there are so many potential points of entry where a hacker can gain access to any part of your company’s operations. Unfortunately, for small businesses to build solid networks behind strong firewalls may be a little costly.

To work around this issue, it is possible to implement at least rudimentary device-level security to enhance your defences.

Articles of Interest

Articles, links and connections from the BeSecureOnline site you might find interesting.    

What is a VPN - VPN Explained

Ransomware - To pay or not to pay - Ransomware

Five things to use VPN for - VPN 5 things

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