Cyber Security for Small Business – Who, What, Where, When and Why?

Cyber security matters for any size of business – it’s not just the big guys that get hit by scammers, fraudsters and hackers. Due to this, many Small businesses often put cyber security on the backburner. As a business and regardless of your size, your customers and partners trust you with their data and expect you to be secure. So, where do you start?

A good way for any Small Business to begin addressing or updating its cyber security is by getting familiar with the five Ws of cybersecurity – who, what, where, when and why.

WHO poses a threat to your data?

In any business, data is commodity and is vulnerable to external and internal threats. External threats include cybercriminals who intercept and steal data.

Internal threats come from the people who work in your business. Whilst the intent may not be malicious, they can still be destructive – accidental deletion of a key record or acceptance of a bad email attachment which ends up downloading a virus or malware into your business network.

WHAT kinds of cyberattacks are out there?

Malware: Catch-all term for viruses, worms, Trojan horses, spyware and any other malicious software.
Ransomware: Cybercriminals lock critical files with a password and demand a fee for access.
Zero-day exploits: Vulnerabilities in newly released software that give cybercriminals access to systems.
Phishing attempts: Typically distributed through email and designed to look official, that try to lure users into clicking a malicious link.

WHEN should you step up your cybersecurity?

The longer your business isn’t protected, the more vulnerable you are to cyberattacks.

WHERE is your data vulnerable?

Your data is vulnerable all the time. That means every laptop, smartphone, tablet, desktop computer or other networked device, as well as servers, routers and more.

WHY should you put cybersecurity measures into place?

Your customers, partner and suppliers trust you with their data. That trust is undermined if cybercriminals access it under your care. Your business brand and repuation could be severely impacted and cost you sales and money to repair and rectify the damage.

There are also laws and regulations for privacy and data protection. For example, for any violation of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), you could get hit with a fine of up to €20 million, or four per cent of your global annual revenues – whichever is highest.

HOW can you protect your business from cyberattacks?

The 2 essential components in protecting your business from cyberattacks is antivirus software and employee training. Anitvirus software will prevent harmful files from infecting your network, and comprehensive employee training for employees will ensure your staf are aware of potential attacks and how to handle them.

With the size, breadth and complexity of threats you can face as a business, the concept of cybersecurity can be daunting. Small Businesses should tailor their defences to the actual level of risk they face.

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