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How to Protect Small Businesses from Cyber-Attacks and Data Breaches

How to Protect Small Businesses from Cyber-Attacks and Data Breaches

We are fully aware that cyber security is worrying for all businesses, and therefore we have put together a few ways for you to ensure your business is as safe and secure as possible. Cyber security is something every business should be fully aware of, and constantly trying to combat. With the introduction of General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) cyber-attacks were down by 43% in 2019. But don’t be fooled, they are extremely common and can easily happen to anyone at anytime, no matter how good your security regulations are. The best thing to do is to educate yourself and your staff in being able to deal with possible data breaches quickly and efficiently.

Due to new laws and guidance, many larger companies and charities have made major changes to their security policies. However, we are aware it can be trickier for small-medium businesses, as there is generally less of a budget to update security in the same way. But, it is important to note, protecting yourself from cyber breaches is more about mindset and attitude then the amount of money you throw at it.

Below are some ways we believe will help avoid possible cyber-attacks and data breaches without breaking the bank, using the means and skills of the staff and equipment you have available.


Unsurprisingly, the most common cause of data breaches are weak and predictable passwords. The standard practise for passwords should already be: upper and lower case letters, at least one number and one symbol. Equally, using the same password for everything is unsafe and anticipated by hackers, we understand how hard it is to remember many different passwords, but it is the best way to protect yourself and the company.

Be aware, hackers will attack machines with the easiest access, the most common source being older less reliable equipment which has had the same password for years. Surprisingly, photocopiers and printers are another way of gaining quick access, so check them on a regular basis.

Frequently changing and creating secure passwords is one of the simplest ways to help avoid cyber-attacks and breaches. Additionally, when someone leaves the business it is also important to change all passwords, so they no longer have access to company data and information. Similalry, when someone new joins the company they should be given clear instructions on how cyber-secruity is being tackled.

Next to no money is used in updating and changing passwords, it is more about using common sense and being efficient.

Security for data breaches

Although implementing security patches can be time consuming, it is an important job which needs to be done. Software vendors supply security patches to fix certain vulnerabilities in software for a reason, and it's a straightforward way to help avoid data breaches and shouldn’t be ignored.

Regularly updating technology, machines and software in your office will also help. Having a thought-out updating plan and applying the security patches will definitely help prevent future attacks.

Education on cyber security and data breaches

Education, education, education! It’s without a doubt that employees are (without knowing) the likely cause of cyber-attacks and data breaches. It’s as easy as opening a corrupt email link or losing a disk drive.

It’s important to educate your staff on cyber-attacks and how best to keep company data safe. We suggest having regular meetings about security and how people can reduce the risk, detect and react to cyber-attacks.

We understand that maintaining cybersecurity for small-medium businesses is hard and worrying. One of the easiest and cheapest ways for a company to do this is by making it everyone’s problem. Every staff member in the business should be actively involved and aware of cyber security and how the company is tackling it. By spreading awareness and using the tips above, you can help secure your business more easily.

None of the things we have suggested will 100% stop cyber-attacks, but they are just recommendations which will hopefully make it a lot harder to be hacked. Again, we cannot stress enough the importance of educating your employees about the dangers, outcomes and reality of cyber-attacks as it is important in ensuring your business is as safe as possible. Make cyber-security everyone’s problem.


Stay Safe,

Team Affecto



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