Cyber security concept with padlock on circuit board. 3D Rendering

Cybersecurity 101 for Small Companies: How to Steer Clear of the Top 10 Mistakes

A beginner’s guide to avoiding common cybersecurity traps in the small business world. 

In the fascinating world of cybercrime, the bad actors often sport top-notch hacking skills. But guess what? The most common culprits behind breaches aren’t their high-tech wizardry but, well, some lax cybersecurity practices.

Now, when it comes to small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs), picture this: they’re like those plucky underdogs in a tech thriller. These business owners, amidst their grand aspirations and the daily hustle and bustle, might sometimes overlook the critical realm of cybersecurity. It’s not that they don’t care, it’s just that they’re often caught up in the whirlwind of growth.  

You see, they might think, “We’re just a small fish in this vast digital ocean. Cybercriminals won’t bother with us, right?” Or perhaps they ponder, “Cybersecurity sounds great, but it’s a tad too expensive for our modest budget.”

But here’s the twist: Cybersecurity isn’t solely reserved for the tech giants with gleaming skyscrapers and espresso machines. It’s a universal concern, including for small businesses. As it turns out, these little guys aren’t flying under the radar. Nope, they’re more like prized gems in a cyber-criminal’s treasure trove. They’re seen as alluring targets due to a few chinks in their digital armor.

So, folks, grab your notepads! We’re about to explore why even the smallest players in the game need to fortify their defenses against digital adversaries. #CybersecurityMatters 

Great news: Cybersecurity doesn’t have to break the bank! Most data breaches happen due to human errors, but that’s actually a good thing. It means that by improving our cyber hygiene, we can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to cyberattacks. #CyberSmart 

Are any of these cybersecurity slip-ups making an appearance in your playbook? #CyberSafetyCheck

Spot phishing attempts Embrace robust password practices Stay savvy about social engineering tricks employed by cybercriminals

Investing in your team’s cybersecurity savvy is a smart move! #CyberSmart 

A Really Big “Don’t”: Weak Passwords 

Ah, weak passwords – a classic security slip in the world of small businesses. It’s surprising how often employees opt for passwords that could practically be guessed by a pet goldfish. And the kicker? Many folks recycle the same password across multiple accounts, opening the door to hackers. 

Fun fact: People reuse their passwords a whopping 64% of the time!

The remedy? Champion the cause of robust, one-of-a-kind passwords. And multi-factor authentication (MFA) used to be a nice option, but today it’s a necessity. It’s like adding a secret handshake on top of your already secure fortress!  

Neglecting Software Updates is a REALLY BAD THING 

Ah, the age-old oversight: Ignoring software updates. It’s like leaving the back door wide open for cybercriminals. They just love exploiting those known vulnerabilities in outdated software to sneak into your digital world. 

Here’s the deal: Small businesses should make it a habit to keep everything up to date. That means not just your operating system but also your trusty web browsers and antivirus programs. Think of it as giving your digital armor a much-needed upgrade!  

The Data Dilemma: Neglecting Backup/Disaster Recovery Plans 

At one point, having a data backup plan was sufficient but with today’s environment, that simply doesn’t go far enough! Small companies frequently roll the dice and skip formal data backup and recovery plans. It’s like thinking, “Data loss? Nah, that won’t happen to us.” But the truth is, data loss can sneak up for various reasons – think cyberattacks, hardware hiccups, or good old human errors. 

The solution? Make it a routine to back up your company’s precious data. And don’t stop there – test those backups to ensure they’re like trusty safety nets, ready to catch you if the data loss drama ever unfolds. #DataSafety101 
 

The Policy Puzzle: Lacking Formal Security Guidelines 

Picture this: Small businesses sometimes sail without a map, meaning they operate without clear policies and procedures. Without these guidelines, employees might find themselves in murky waters, unsure of how to navigate critical matters like handling sensitive data or using company devices securely. 

The solution? Small businesses should hoist the flag of formal security policies and procedures! But it doesn’t stop there – it’s essential to make sure every crew member (read: employee) knows the rules. These policies should be like a well-rounded survival kit, covering everything from password management to incident reporting and remote work security. #PolicyPower 

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Mobile Mayhem: Overlooking Mobile Security 

In our tech-savvy era, where mobile devices are like pocket-sized offices, mobile security is gaining serious importance. But guess what? Small companies sometimes give it the cold shoulder in the cybersecurity tango. 

The fix? Get those mobile device management (MDM) solutions in place, stat! These handy tools enforce security rules on both company-owned and employee-owned devices used for work. It’s like having a digital bouncer at your business’s front door, checking IDs and keeping the party safe.  

The Watchful Eye: Neglecting Network Monitoring 

Here’s the deal: SMBs might not always have IT wizards keeping an eagle eye on their digital highways for suspicious activity. This can spell trouble, with security breaches going unnoticed for longer than they should. 

The solution? Equip your business with network monitoring tools, or consider outsourcing network monitoring services. These tools act like vigilant guards, spotting potential threats and sounding the alarm before they wreak havoc.

No Plan, No Gain: Lack of an Incident Response Plan 

Imagine a cybersecurity incident without a response plan – it’s like trying to navigate a storm without a compass. Panic and ineffectiveness often reign supreme in such situations. 

What’s the move? Develop a rock-solid incident response plan! This playbook should lay out the steps to take when a security incident occurs, complete with communication strategies, isolation procedures, and a clear chain of command. It’s your map to safety in the digital wilderness.  

Small But Secure: The Power of Managed IT Services 

Now, here’s the kicker: Cyber threats never take a coffee break. They evolve constantly, and keeping up is like chasing a digital ghost. But guess what? Small businesses sometimes think they’re “too small” to invest in managed IT services

But wait, there’s more to the story! Managed services come in all sizes, including budget-friendly options for SMBs. A managed service provider (MSP) can keep your business safe from cyberattacks and even save you money by optimizing your IT. 

Curious to Learn More About Managed IT Services? 

Don’t roll the dice with your business’s cybersecurity. BizTek Connection may well be much more affordable than you think! Give us a call today to set up a chat.