Cybersecurity Best Practices for Small Businesses

July 2, 2024


The Normandy Team
Cybersecurity Best Practices for Small Businesses

As cybercrime advances and improves, small businesses increasingly become targets for cybercriminals. While large corporations often have robust security measures, small businesses might lack the resources to defend against sophisticated cyberattacks. This vulnerability makes it crucial for small businesses to adopt best practices to protect their assets, reputation, and customers. Implementing these measures not only safeguards the company but also can reduce insurance premiums and mitigate potential financial losses. Here are some essential cybersecurity practices that every small business should consider.

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Understanding the Cyber Threat Landscape

Small businesses often underestimate the risk of cyberattacks, believing they are too small to be targeted. However, this misconception can lead to devastating consequences. Cybercriminals frequently target small businesses because they typically have fewer defenses than larger companies. According to a 2021 Verison report, 46% of breaches impacted businesses with less than 1,000 employees. Common threats include phishing attacks, ransomware, malware, and data breaches. By understanding these threats, small businesses can better prepare and protect themselves.

Implementing Strong Password Policies

One simplest yet most effective cybersecurity practice is enforcing strong password policies. Weak or reused passwords are a significant vulnerability that cybercriminals exploit. Small businesses should require employees to create complex passwords that include a mix of letters, numbers, and special characters. Additionally, implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA) adds an extra layer of security, making it more difficult for unauthorized users to gain access to sensitive information.

Regular Software Updates and Patch Management

Outdated software is a common entry point for cybercriminals. Small businesses must ensure that all software, including operating systems, applications, and security tools, are regularly updated. Vendors frequently release patches or updates to address security vulnerabilities. By keeping software up to date, businesses can close potential cyberattack entry points. Automated update settings can simplify this process and ensure that updates are not overlooked.

Employee Training and Awareness

Employees are often the first line of defense against cyber threats. However, they can also be the weakest link if not adequately trained. Small businesses should invest in regular cyber awareness training programs to educate employees about the latest threats and safe practices. Training should cover topics such as recognizing phishing emails, secure internet browsing habits, and the importance of reporting suspicious activities. Creating a culture of awareness can significantly reduce the risk of human error leading to a security breach.

Data Encryption and Secure Backups

Protecting sensitive data is paramount for any business. Encrypting data ensures that even if it is intercepted, it cannot be read without the encryption key. Small businesses should implement encryption for data at rest (stored data) and in transit (data being transmitted over networks). Additionally, maintaining regular backups of critical data is essential. Backups should be stored securely, preferably offsite or in the cloud, and should be tested regularly to ensure data can be restored quickly in case of a cyber incident.

Network Security Measures

Securing the business network is another critical aspect of cybersecurity. Small businesses should use firewalls to monitor and control incoming and outgoing network traffic. Setting up a virtual private network (VPN) for remote employees can secure their connection to the company network, especially when accessing it over public Wi-Fi. Additionally, segmenting the network can limit the spread of malware if one part of the network is compromised.

Incident Response Planning

Despite the best preventive measures, cyber incidents can still occur. Having an incident response plan in place ensures that the business can respond quickly and effectively to minimize damage. The plan should outline the steps to take during a cyber incident, including who to contact, how to contain the breach, and how to recover affected systems. Regularly testing and updating the incident response plan ensures it remains effective as new threats emerge.

Cybersecurity Insurance

While implementing cybersecurity best practices can significantly reduce the risk of cyber incidents, no system is entirely foolproof, especially as cybercrime becomes smarter. Cybersecurity insurance provides additional protection by covering financial losses resulting from cyberattacks. Policies can cover various costs, including data recovery, legal fees, customer notification, and business interruption. Small businesses should consider partnering with a reputable insurance provider to tailor a policy that meets their specific needs.

For small businesses, adopting cybersecurity best practices is not just about protecting against financial losses; it is also about safeguarding their reputation and customer trust. Investing in cybersecurity is a critical aspect of modern business operations, ensuring long-term success and resilience in an increasingly digital world.

Protect your small business from the growing threat of cyberattacks with Normandy's comprehensive cybersecurity insurance policy. Our tailored coverage ensures you have the support you need to recover quickly and minimize financial losses in the event of a cyber incident. Don't wait until it's too late—secure your business's future today with Normandy's trusted cybersecurity insurance. Visit to learn more.

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