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2023 IT Security Tips for Small to Medium-Sized Businesses

2023 IT Security Tips for Small to Medium-Sized Businesses

As more people work from home, cloud services and advanced data storage technologies are these businesses' order of the day. At the same time, this innovation has also made small and medium-sized enterprises vulnerable to cyber threats and attacks. Such a hybrid model allows employees to work where and whenever they want, but this could also pose more risks to the business.

Regardless of their WFH stance, it is important for businesses to employ security measures to reduce the risks of data breaches, hacks, and cyber attacks. Cybersecurity is vital for small and medium-sized businesses as it prevents these businesses from being vulnerable to cyber threats and having personal information stolen. This article outlines IT Security Tips for your business in 2023.

Is Your Business Vulnerable to Cyber Risks?

A common misconception most small and medium-sized businesses have is that cyber-security is only important for large organizations, and their business is too small to be a target for any hacker. While this is hardly true, this misconception is responsible for data breaches and hacks that could have been easily avoided.

Generally, weak cyber security is taking a toll on small businesses with less than 1000 employees. Due to the lack of a vibrant security system, many businesses have fallen victim to phishing scams, malware, and ransomware attacks. With a large volume of data that could easily be compromised in an attack, it’s not uncommon to find many small businesses struggling to stay afloat amidst cyber threats and looming danger.

Cybersecurity, in their minds, entails changing passwords and running an antivirus program.

Modern threats have evolved, and simple vandalism no longer impels cybercriminals. A hacker can go months undetected while gathering data, gaining access, and learning the ins and outs of a company's operations. Email shadowing will reveal the organization's reporting, common communication channels, company roles, document links, etc.

How Can a Small Business Improve Security?

When building a business, there are a few tips that every business owner should know. It is also essential to understand how cyber security can help protect companies from cyber attacks that can cause irreversible damage to their operations. Here are some common cyber threats you should know:

  • Malware attack
  • Phishing attack
  • Password attack
  • Man-in-the-middle attack
  • Denial of service attack
  • SQL injection
  • Zero-day exploit
  • Insider threats 

Here are some security tips for small and medium-sized businesses to beef up their security and keep up to date with proven measures that could reduce their vulnerability in the long run.

Data encryption

This is critical for any business. Data encryption is a process companies use to protect sensitive information by encrypting it so that only a user with authorized access or an encryption key can decrypt it. Otherwise, it will appear unreadable. The most common types of encryption methods used are symmetric encryption (where the sender and receiver must have access to the same key) and asymmetric encryption (which uses a public and private key for the encryption process).

Data backup

Data backup is the process of duplicating sensitive business data by the business owner or managed IT service provider so that it can easily be accessed in case of a data breach, loss, or compromise. In the event of a ransomware attack, businesses with all their data backed up elsewhere won’t have to deal with files being held hostage by hackers as they will already have their complete file system stored elsewhere.

Before backing up business files, managers should organize their terms and tools. High-end data encryption software protects businesses' data against hacks by making the data inaccessible and useless if accessed without proper authorization.

Keep sensitive information out of the public eye.

Businesses must protect sensitive customer data from unauthorized access by remote or onsite workers. They must also ensure that such data is hidden from the public domain to prevent a third party from accessing it. Business owners may consider creating a separate platform for sensitive data or encrypting it with a different password only a few personal employees can access.

Separate company data from employee personal data

Any employee must have a thorough understanding of their company's technology policies. They explain how an employee should work or carry out job duties in their organization. Some companies allow employees to use the same network to manage social media platforms after work hours. Some do the exact opposite. While we recommend a direct separation of work staying on work devices and personal staying on personal devices, it’s not just for security reasons that this should be handled. Allowing personal “browsing” to be done on work devices and vice versa opens the door to not only security breaches but the possibility of accidental shares of personal shares on company accounts and any other missteps using social media platforms.

This is why using a different network device for business and personal activities is best. It’s also recommended to avoid storing work documents or data on your personal devices. They may be accessible to the public and, without the proper security, can be easily accessed by hackers. It puts sensitive information at risk of cyber threats when you may not even realize it.

Provide adequate firewall security

A firewall prevents unauthorized access to data on a private network. There are different types of firewalls for small businesses. Your business and data network's organizational setup may determine your choice of a firewall. While there are many options to choose from, selecting the correct firewall for your type of business is imperative. Depending on if your business has to follow any type of compliance, ensuring that you select the appropriate type of firewall will increase your level of protection.

Another thing to consider is if your business employs any employees that work remotely. These devices must be included in your firewall strategy, so ensure that whichever is selected is easily used by those who aren’t working in-office without the help of a hands-on team.


With managed IT services, there is dedicated and continuous monitoring of a business' systems to avoid cyber attacks. Also, it's easier and more efficient to reach a dedicated IT management team on standby when a system problem arises than to assign a staff member who's not on the clock to handle a time-sensitive system issue.

A managed IT service provider also enables you to gain access to high-powered options such as 24-hour monitoring of system security, backups, help desk support, and so on. That way, top-notch protection with an improved network system and advanced security measures is at your fingertips.

The above tips are proven methods that could help strengthen a company’s cybersecurity. However, a managed IT service provider offers consolidated security and amplifies the security efforts of any business. 

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