15 Crucial Cybersecurity Pointers for Small Companies


Kevin Urrutia




April 03, 2024

Small business owners have to save on everything. They use cloud computing, use open source software, maximize tax deductions, and so on. But if you think about cutting costs on cybersecurity, it’s risky. Headlines with data breaches and cyber attacks are mostly about large corporations, but small businesses are not spared.

The effects of not investing in business cybersecurity can be devastating for a small company. We’re not taking just about financial losses. Reputation damage can be permanent. To lessen these risks, a small business must make cybersecurity a priority. Here are the most vital points to know about business cybersecurity:

15 Cybersecurity Pointers for Small Businesses

  1. Spam Awareness

You think you’re too smart to fall for spam? Don’t underestimate this threat! Spam emails are often disguised as messages you commonly receive. With their limited resources and weaker cybersecurity measures, small businesses are vulnerable to spam.

You should start by educating your entire workforce on recognizing spam risk. If you try to get them informed and you get the question “que es spam risk?” — it means you need an employee training session ASAP. Your staff should know the red flags: unsolicited emails, suspicious senders, and requests for sensitive data. Some of these emails hide behind subjects like “ios security alert”.

But education is not enough. You also need innovative spam filtering technology to prevent malicious emails from reaching your inbox. Such tools block phishing attempts and malware distribution. An mail attachment inspection feature warns you about emails containing suspicious files. With this type of tools, small businesses strengthen their defense against spam-related threats. 

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  1. Secure Web Hosting and Cloud Services

When choosing hosting and cloud services, you’re trusting them with your digital assets. These providers have to be as reputable as possible, although this means you’ll spend more money on them. They must guarantee state-of-the-art data encryption, access controls, and proactive threat monitoring. 

  1. Strong Password Policy

A weak password is just like leaving the front door of your store open at night. The good news is that strong passwords don’t cost anything. You only need some knowledge and a good plan to protect sensitive data against unauthorized access. This is your first line of defense against unauthorized access.

Here are some tips that help you create a strong password policy:

  •       Make your passwords at least 12 characters long.
  •       Mix uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters in your passwords.
  •       Make them unique across all accounts and systems.
  •       Consider using passphrases. These are created from a string of words or a memorable sentence. They are easy to remember, but highly secure.


  1.     Up-To-Date Software and Systems

Software updates are crucial for enhancing cybersecurity. They improve the overall system performance. If you fail to keep your software and systems up-to-date, your business will be vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

You can develop a strategy to ensure timely software updates. This involves a formal policy for the frequency and procedure for software updates. It’s important to assign this responsibility to some of your employees, so they will implement and monitor the updates. 

  1.     Secure Mobile Devices

Every one of your employees has a personal smartphone that they bring to work. These devices are vulnerable to data breaches and malware infections. Small businesses must secure them to protect sensitive data.

You can do that with mobile device management (MDM) solutions. When you add devices to the corporate network, you’re making sure they adhere to the security policies you set. They also enable you to remotely remove corporate data from lost or stolen devices.

Don’t forget to ask your employees to turn off microphone on iPhone, too. Hacking an iPhone’s microphone is not a difficult thing for a hacker to do. That’s why everyone should know how to spot the warning signs. You don’t want outsiders to listen to any of the sensitive information you share on meetings.

  1. Employee Education

Investing in the strongest cybersecurity tools is worth nothing if your employees don’t have basic knowledge of the matter. Employees are often the ones who recognize and report cyber threats. You should teach them how to respond to such risks through a comprehensive training program.

These are the most important topics to cover in such a program:

  •       Phishing awareness
  •       Password Security
  •       Safe internet use
  •       Device security
  •       Data handling
  •       Incident response
  1. Secure Network

Network security for small businesses is mandatory for preventing data breaches, unauthorized access, and other things you’re afraid of. Wi-Fi networks are an easy entry point for hackers. You can make yours safer by modifying the default name and passwords, using strong encryption (WPA2 or WPA3 protocols), and separating guest networks from internal networks.

  1. Scheduled Backups

Backups are crucial against data loss, which could occur after hardware failures, cyber attacks, human error, or natural disasters. For a small business, data is a valuable asset. It determines your operations, decision-making process, and customer relationships. In case of a data breach or system failure, a backup can literally save your business.

It’s important to choose a backup solution that you can rely on. It can be a cloud-based backup service, on-premises backup server, or a hybrid solution that combines both approaches.

  1. Access Controls

With role-based access policies, you will grant users permissions based on their responsibilities and organizational hierarchy. You’ll make sure that individuals have access only to the resources that are necessary for their work. By minimizing the risk of excessive permissions, you can avoid insider threats.  

  1. Suspicious Activity Monitoring

Early detection of potential security incidents can make a real difference in your response to them. You need to continuously monitor for suspicious activity, such as unusual network traffic or unauthorized access attempts.

You can do this by implementing intrusion detection systems. These tools automatically monitor network traffic. They analyze network behavior and user activity to identify deviations and warn you about them.

  1. Incident Response Plan

What if a cybersecurity incident occurs? How do you minimize its impact on your business? You need a predetermined incident response plan.

This is a smart expense. A cybersecurity expert can develop an effective incident response plan that prepares you to detect and analyze security systems, isolate affected systems, eradicate malicious activity, and recover from damage.

  1. Sensitive Data Encryption

In the event of a security breach or unauthorized access, your financial records, customer data, and proprietary business secrets are at risk. By encrypting this data, it will remain unreadable and unusable to unauthorized parties.

You can encrypt data stored on devices, servers, databases, and storage systems. But you can also encrypt data in transit.

  1. Security Audits and Assessments

Regular security audits will help you evaluate the effectiveness of your security controls. They identify potential vulnerabilities and see if all practices comply with regulatory requirements. With scheduled audits, you can detect and address security risks before they are targeted by malicious actors.

In addition to internal audits, your small business will also need vulnerability scans of external-facing systems and networks. Penetration testing is also important. It’s also known as ethical hacking, and it means simulating real-world cyber attacks to see how your systems would respond.

  1. Knowledge about Emerging Threats

When you understand evolving risks, you can proactively protect your small business. Cyber threats are always evolving. Hackers find more and more sophisticated tactics to compromise systems. It’s important to stay one step ahead. You can do that by reading industry news sources and threat intelligence reports.

  1. Professional Help

Regardless of the tools and strategies that small businesses implement, they may encounter challenges that need expertise. If you don’t know how to set up cybersecurity policies or you’re overwhelmed by a threat, seek professional help! This is yet another expense for your business, but you’ll benefit from tailored guidance and proactive risk management in the long term.

Cybersecurity is not a one-time task. It’s a continuous journey for your business. It requires dedication and collaboration.


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