How to keep your small business safe from online attacks

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

By Henry Brown

As the world of business has moved online, cyberattacks have become more common. These hacks can be devastating for small businesses, resulting in loss of data, significant downtime, and destroying customer relationships. For many small businesses, this is a relatively new hurdle to overcome, one that has been exacerbated by the move to remote working, and the need to engage more with clients and customers digitally.

However, there are many small changes and simple tactics you can use to help keep your small business safe from online attacks. These range from technological solutions, to seeking external support, to implementing strategies for the staff of your own organization. Here are just a few of the best methods you can start investigating today.

Password and device protocols

Firstly, it’s important to recognize that increased numbers of employees are now working from home, and this provides its own unique security issues. It means that security can no longer be centralized to a geographical location, meaning each individual has greater responsibility over their own security. FOr this reason, it’s vital to immediately implement a company-wide security policy. Providing employees with devices to be used solely for work purposes, and ensuring they are all aware of password best-practices, is a great first step towards ensuring protection.

Seeking external IT support

The days when IT support was considered the realm of big businesses and multi-national corporations are a thing of the past. Nowadays, even sole proprietorships would do well to employ the services of an expert IT support company. These services will be able to survey your network for faults, recommend upgrades, and offer 24-hour support in the case of an emergency, ensuring your system is back up and running as soon as possible, limiting downtime.

Securing your network

After you have consulted an IT support company, you’ll need to follow their advice in order to make sure your network is secure. Viruses and hackers are constantly evolving new methods of attack, so it’s important to make sure you are also consistently upgrading your anti-virus software and firewalls so that you are always protected against the latest developments. Your network is the lifeblood of your business, and you’ll want to make sure it is impregnable.

Multi-factor authentication

Multi-factor authentication simply refers to the practice of needing more than one ‘security pass’ to access an area, digital or otherwise. So, for example, instead of merely entering a password, you need to enter a password and then a piece of memorable information or a code sent to your phone. These multi-layered security checks are recognizable from online banking and other services, and you would do well to start implementing them for your own business.

Learn to spot a scam

Sometimes, all it takes to bypass your security and gain access to your system is a simple case of human error. Simply clicking on an email that contains a virus can be enough to unleash it upon your system. For this reason, it’s important to make sure all your employees are trained in how to spot a scam or an untrustworthy piece of communication. This will help to eliminate those human errors and keep your business safe from online attacks in any form.


Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop, he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.

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