What is cyber security for small business?
Cyber security includes ensuring your anti-virus software is up to date, but it does not stop there. Indeed, a lot of small business cyber security activity is offline.
Internal business policies, insurance policy definitions, copyright protections, internal training and simple common sense; cyber security is all the actions you take to identify, manage and reduce cyber threats to your small business, personal data, or major corporation.
Thinking you are safe because you are small is a common mistake. The cyber security actions you take (or don’t take) as a small business (or even an individual) can have ripple effects throughout a much broader community. Cyber security is everyone’s responsibility.
What are the new Cyber Threats?
In 2022 cyber threats are less obvious, more subtle, more sophisticated. We learnt not to insert CDs and USBs of unknown origin into our computers, and the hackers evolved. We learnt not to click on suspicious links from suspicious emails, and the hackers evolved. Now we know we must be constantly vigilant in our online engagements.
Cyber security threats take on many guises and are usually an attempt to:
• Steal your data (including your bank account details or your business information based assets)
• Disrupt digital life (such as through actions that prevent your customers from accessing your website)
• Damage your data (so you can’t access it or it is no longer reliable)
You may be familiar with:
• Trojans – creating backdoor access for hackers to control your computer
• Phishing – extremely common lures often via email, or text, seeking to obtain your private information including bank details
• Malware – malicious software corrupting your data
More recently, we are seeing:
• Man-in-the-Middle Attacks – where two parties believe they are communicating with each other but are instead communicating with a cyber fraud, who may have them pay expected invoices
into incorrect bank accounts
• Malvertising – seemingly innocent ads on seemingly legitimate websites that install a virus, spyware or malware with a single accidental or ill-conceived click of a mouse
• Zero-Day exploits – the exploitation of security vulnerabilities in legitimate software before the release of an update to secure
The threats are everywhere. Fortunately, so is cyber security.
Cyber Security for small business
Cyber security education begins the first time a child uses a parent’s device. And like so many other forms of education, it never ends because the goal posts keep moving.
Cyber security for small business is about your actions to protect your business assets including client details. It starts with ensuring your employees (and yourself) know what to look out for, who to report potential risks to and what individual responsibilities are within the business.
It includes technological protections like anti-virus software, firewalls and legal protections such as appropriate insurance against such potential risks and copyright/patent registrations to ensure your rights are as possible in a digital world.
Ongoing vigilance is the key.
Small Business Cyber Security and the Broader Community
Cyber security for small businesses is an essential cog in the wheel that is often overlooked with the theory that ‘I am too small to be a target’. Let me assure you – being small does not protect you or your community as hackers operate on all levels too.
Small businesses are losing time and reputation to cyber attacks every day. From simple Facebook hacks where hackers take over your page to promote a scam to complex attacks targeting you to obtain specific customer data from your records, even the smallest business is a target. To a hacker, you are as important as your biggest client, or your largest audience. As to impact – your reputation is all you ever really have. Don’t let a hacker take that from you.
Remember: Your small business cyber security actions protect your clients and their broader network. Keep your finances safe, your business running smoothly, and your client’s data secure by having a regularly reviewed cyber security strategy.