How to protect your small business from cyber attacks today

Just because you run a small business, doesn’t mean you’re beyond a hacker’s notice – or reach.


Today, an antivirus has become something akin to compulsory vaccination for your device. Without a reliable, effective and constantly updated antivirus, any information becomes easy prey for viruses, network worms and other dangerous programs from the hacker’s arsenal.

Yes, even the most advanced of existing anti-viruses cannot protect data 100%. But it, at least, will help to understand how secure external media that you connect to the system, or information downloaded from the Internet. Anti-Virus will notify you of a threat and give you time to make critical decisions.

Good software and timely updates

New technologies equally play into the hands of both those who protect themselves from cyber attacks and those who plan and commit them. The new virus stimulates the development of anti-virus programs, and they, in turn, force the creators of malware to become more active.

To protect your business data, you need to use the latest secure software solutions. Try to find out in which programs they detect vulnerabilities, and install the necessary updates as soon as possible. Or set up automatic updates. Yes, for this you need to abandon pirate software that is widespread in the post-Soviet space and install a licensed version. But on the issue of information security, savings often result in huge losses. Data from bank accounts and cards, personal information of employees, contacts of suppliers and much more are at risk. And reliable software installed on modern devices is another plus to the general level of information security.

Strong passwords

Ransomware viruses are far from the only cyber threat. The level of protection against many vulnerabilities significantly increases a good password. This is one of the simplest and seemingly obvious ways to protect information from cybercriminals. But far from always, entrepreneurs use truly strong passwords. You can still find combinations like “qwerty” or “12345”. A password must have several mandatory characteristics so that it has a high level of complexity. Use various combinations of numbers and letters, do not forget about the case (capital and small letters), if possible, add special characters to the code (like “&”, “%” or “#”). Try not to use passwords shorter than 10 characters. Each account you use needs its own unique password. And do not forget to change combinations at least once every six months.

Knowledge is the main defense

The main weapon of cybercriminals remains social engineering. Even the most modern protection system is powerless if company employees download files indiscriminately and open attachments from letters that they did not expect. So with the team you need to regularly conduct interviews with the information security department. If the company is very small and you do not have such a department, you should learn more about the problem and how to solve it. According to experts from the Ponemon Institute, in 54% of cases the cause of the attack is the negligence of the employee or contractor of the company. So, knowledge of cybersecurity issues, as well as the proper level of responsibility, protect money and information from uninvited guests.

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    Vitaly is a principal consultant at Hackcontrol as wall as aa business and IT thought leader. He has over 15 years of experience in consulting, account management and is a specialist in cybersecurity.