Resources and Tips / Cybersecurity: What your small business needs to know

Cybersecurity: What your small business needs to know

By SME Institute

These days, it seems like a week doesn’t go by without hearing about another major data breach. Just last year, companies like Canada Post and the Toronto Transit Commission fell victim to cyber attacks that exposed the personal information of millions of people. And while large corporations may have the resources to bounce back from these types of incidents, small businesses often don’t. In fact, 60% of small businesses that suffer a cyber attack are forced to close their doors within six months.

How cyber attacks happen

There are many ways that cybercriminals can attack your small business. The most common type of attack is phishing, which occurs when an attacker sends an email that appears to be from a legitimate source (like a bank or government agency) in an attempt to get the recipient to click on a malicious link or attachment. This can lead to the installer of malware on your computer or network, which can give the attacker access to sensitive data or allow them to disable important systems.

Other common types of attacks include ransomware (which encrypts your data and demands a

ransom payment to decrypt it), SQL injection (which takes advantage of vulnerabilities in websites or databases), and Denial of Service (DoS) attacks (which overload systems with traffic in an attempt to take them offline).

Preventing cyber attacks

The best way to protect your small business against cyber attacks is by focusing on prevention.

Follow these steps to ensure you’re protected against potential threats:


Step 1: Identify your assets

The first step in developing a cybersecurity plan is to identify what assets need to be protected.

These assets can include electronic devices, company data, customer data, and other confidential information. Once you have identified which assets need protection, you can start taking steps to secure them.


Step 2: Implement security measures

There are a number of different security measures that you can implement to protect your data and devices. Here are a few of the best:


  • Educating yourself and your employees about cybersecurity risks and how to prevent them
  • Using strong and unique passwords for all online accounts
  • Backing up data regularly
  • Installing security software on all devices
  • Restricting access to sensitive data
  • Monitoring activity on your network
  • Staying up-to-date on security patches
  • Working with a reputable IT Services Provider who can provide comprehensive cybersecurity solutions tailored specifically for your small business needs

Step 3: Educate your employees

One of the most important steps you can take to protect your business from cybersecurity threats is to educate your employees about best practices for cybersecurity. Employees should be trained on how to spot potential threats, how to report suspicious activity, and how to keep company data safe. By educating your team on cybersecurity best practices, you can help reduce the risk of a breach. 

Cybersecurity is vital for all businesses in today’s digital age. Small businesses are especially

vulnerable to cyber attacks, but there are steps that all businesses can take to protect themselves. By keeping devices and software up to date, using strong passwords and authentication methods, implementing a data backup solution, and educating employees about cybersecurity threats, you can help keep your business safe from harm.

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