Cybersecurity Tips for the Small Business Owner

By Pathpoint


Remember when Y2K was our biggest digital threat? Now, small business owners must confront various threats daily, such as viruses, ransomware, and phishing scams, potentially lurking in a single email! Small business owners need to implement daily cyber risk management strategies to guard against expensive attacks. Here are a few practices they should adopt:

Keep Software Updated

Just like the updates Apple pushes for your phone, you should also regularly update and backup your computer software. Doing so adds new features, fixes bugs, and enhances security. These updates often include patches for known vulnerabilities, so staying current with the latest versions is essential.

Secure Data Storage

Floppy discs, CDs, and USB drives are relics of the past. Modern businesses use secure cloud-based systems and file-sharing solutions to encrypt data when sharing confidential information. Regular email may not offer enough security for transferring sensitive documents. Secure file-sharing tools are crucial to protect data during transmission. Some of these tools automatically encrypt sensitive files, ensuring data security during sharing and preventing unauthorized access to confidential information.

Avoid Opening Suspicious Emails

Hackers are becoming more sophisticated with their phishing scams. They often pose as well-known companies like Amazon, PayPal, or UPS or even exploit secure systems like Dropbox to bypass defenses. Always scrutinize the sender. Look out for typos or misspellings, as these are often clear indications of a scam.

If you don't recognize the email, delete it. You can also verify the sender by making a phone call or sending a separate email to the address. Did you receive an email from the CEO when you've never interacted before? It's likely a fake. If it's a genuine email, trust the sender will find another way to follow up.

Judge Website Links

Email isn't the only way to receive a corrupted link. Pop-ups and internet searches can lead to Pandora's Box of malware. When navigating an unfamiliar website, first check if the website is secured with TLS/SSL encryption. A padlock icon in the address bar indicates this. Then, look for contact information and copyright details. All legitimate websites should provide a working phone number, email address, and physical address. Finally, remember that appearance matters. If you notice odd formatting or spelling errors, or if the site appears outdated with low-resolution graphics, exit the site immediately.

Educate Your Employees

Maintaining a secure cyber landscape requires a collective effort. Educate employees about recognizing scams, understanding procedures, and enforcing strong password policies. Limit the use of company-issued devices to only authorized personnel, emphasizing the need for authorization before any device use. Discourage employees from using unauthorized devices. To further enhance security, run regular compliance tests to identify any gaps in training.

Purchase Robust Cyber Liability

Just as car insurance is essential for vehicles, cyber liability insurance is vital for businesses in the digital age. It offers financial protection against cyber-attacks, including data breaches and other online threats. This insurance can cover recovery costs, such as repairing damaged systems, retrieving lost data, and dealing with legal matters related to the breach. Regardless of size, it's a critical investment for businesses operating in our interconnected digital world.

Pathpoint offers monoline cyber liability options from At-Bay, an A- AM Best rated carrier. At, you can secure fast, easy, reliable coverage in minutes. To learn more about At-Bay, visit their website.

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