As organisations are increasingly connected, cyber security issues have steadily increased. Small businesses often feel like cyber attackers have bigger fish to fry but this is increasingly untrue.

Use this cyber security survival guide to keep yourself protected.

Hackers prey on the knowledge that small businesses often have lower defence due to a lack of financial and human resources. Especially for hackers interested in customer data and other intellectual property, small businesses are even more attractive because their data is incredibly niche. We would like to ensure that you understand the risks and how you can mitigate these.

Know what to expect

Most times when companies get cyber attacked, they don’t know what is happening and have no plan in place. The first step is to understand exactly what kinds of cyber attacks can happen and the possible implications should you have a breach.


“In the digital world, these (cyber) breaches result in not only significant financial damage but reputational as well. If the breach is significant enough,  your company risks not being able to recover at all from such an attack,” said Nathan Desfontaines, Managing Director at CyberSec.

A data breach or a loss of customer information can be expensive to rectify‚ result in a business losing customers‚ and sully a company’s reputation for years to come.

Focus on the people

More often than not, your employees are your businesses greatest threat. Though often unintentionally, when employees do not practice vigilance and care you may find yourself in trouble.

The first port of call is to start by restricting access. The fewer people who can access sensitive business data, the smaller the likelihood of it being stolen. This means ensuring that staff only have access to databases that are necessary for executing their jobs. Employees should be trained in the basics of digital security, starting with which actions could be risky and setting the boundaries for the preferred non-negotiable company actions. The most important step your business can take is as easy as password strength.

Hackers often get into networks and programs by username and password combinations, so the strengthening of company passwords can mitigate risk. For example you can set password strength parameters, as well as validity timeframes this ensures that passwords are changed regularly so as to mitigate potential risk.

Migrate to the cloud

For many people, the cloud is still a foreign concept but it is a lot safer than a physical server. While the added safety of the cloud does come with feeling like you are losing some control, the benefits such as stronger surveillance, frequent auditing and controlled access far outweigh this perceived notion.

Plan for the worst

If a cyber- attack does happen, the most important thing will be how well you have prepared. Make sure to have a clear, formal disaster recovery plan that has been shared and explained to your staff. This must clearly detail who is responsible, when and for what, as well as what the primary areas of concern are. From a reputational perspective, a clear plan for what to communicate to stakeholders and consumers, when to communicate and where to communicate is critical to plan for any reputational damage that may occur.

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