Months plagued with the novel coronavirus pandemic have had remote operations integrated into the way businesses are run. However, as businesses reopen and struggle to find a balance with the bulk of their operations moved online, it would seem that cyber attackers are making out the space as their honeypot.

Today’s cyber threat landscape is expanding to include new and more sophisticated vectors. As such, small and medium scale businesses are particularly susceptible to security breaches.

Reports have shown that about 43% of cyber attacks occur with small businesses. This is so because, unlike large organizations and agencies, most small businesses are believed to be unattractive to hackers and malicious attackers. As such, essential protection is neglected in this regard.

Post-Pandemic Business: Cyber Threats on the Rise

The pandemic has undoubtedly changed working practices with large-scale growth recorded in online cloud services, e-commerce, and work-from-home technologies. However, alongside this exponential growth, the vulnerability of businesses to security breaches is on the rise.

Statistics show that cyberspace recorded about 30% increase in security breaches post-pandemic. Today’s cyber-crime landscape has set the bar so low that it is relatively easy for participants to get high returns with minimal technical skills.

Given the interconnection of networks and devices, data privacy and security are susceptible to being attacked. New waves of attacks indicate a concentration in phishing and privacy hacks. Cybercriminals have been noted to pose as legitimate agencies to get information from businesses of all ranges by sending pseudo-mails and injecting malware into networks.

While quite a few small businesses have had to face attacks of this count in the past, the e-commerce boom and more sophistication in financial tools of the trade have called attention to the security lapses in the business of this sort.

This is why a security checklist and excellent cyber-hygiene practice is a crucial tool in ensuring long-term productivity.

Cybersecurity Checklist for Small Businesses

Running a business remotely has its trade-offs – productivity, efficiency, and good returns – especially with the pandemic still taking its toll on the world’s economy. However, in the light of the rise in cyber threats, it is essential to keep the security of your network in check with the following tips:

  • Dual-layered Account Protection and Passkeys

Private keys and passwords are integral parts of any digital account setup. Password-cracking is reportedly one of the highest links to cybercrimes. These days, a cybercriminal can easily gain access to networks by leveraging the predictability of passkeys.

This is why it is important to set up strong passwords when working digitally. It is essential to note that passwords can be easily predicted when linked to the user, while others can be accessed through a combination of words in the dictionary.

Eliminating the factor of predictability while integrating good password policies is one of the best ways to keep your business safe from prying eyes and hands. Also in this light, the importance of two-factor authentication (2FA) is often underrated.

Therefore, it is imperative to note that setting up dual-layered protection for accounts ensures that they are not easily breached.

  • Educating Employees and Customers on Cybersecurity

Timely access to useful information on the threats that could be faced when operating digitally goes a long way in addressing malicious attacks for businesses. In addition to regular updates on managing or interacting with the business network, the place of information on cyber-hygiene should not be neglected.

Some of the best ways to achieve this are setting up cybersecurity workshops, creating related blog posts, updating staff handbooks, and staying up-to-date with the latest upgrades in the cybersecurity scene. For instance, it is important that business owners and customers check emails or attachments sent to them before fully accessing them.

  • Enable Private and Secure Connections

In the course of browsing through a network or conducting business digitally, streams of data are exchanged – which are susceptible to being exploited for malicious purposes. Cybercriminals divert traffic from one network to another by intercepting data.

These attackers go beyond this to set up malware and viruses through ads and push notifications to access useful information. These bugs also slow down site speed rates – thereby reducing customer engagement on the sites.

This issue can be combated by visiting secure sites and establishing secure connections. One of the major areas of exposure to these attacks is browsing via public Wi-Fi or open-source software. Attacks on this front expose businesses to phishing and malware injection.

Beyond double-checking the security of the site visited, small businesses must employ the use of user-friendly VPNs that have been reviewed and rated to be trustworthy for browsing.

Trustworthy VPNs employ military-grade layers of encryption, well-protected servers to transmit data, remarkable speed, and security to networks. It provides a firewall against suspicious apps and services while working in the background.

In this event, businesses will also benefit from installing anti-malware and anti-viruses into systems and sites. However, it is essential to note that due to the nature of the firewall configuration of VPNs, some VPNs clash with anti-malware and anti-viruses upon installation.

  • Routine Security Checks and Updates

Performing security checks on the strength and safety of the network upon which businesses of all levels are run is a sure way of maintaining such a company’s integrity. Scheduling cybersecurity checks help to note lapses in security and possible solutions.

  • Liaisons with Cloud-based Networks

Data invariably make up the bulk of any business. Proper data processing and storage is a remarkable way of fostering more customer engagement through anticipation and accommodation of customer needs. Therefore, it is crucial for small businesses looking to advance to store or back up relevant data properly.

Thanks to subsequent upgrades, cloud security is top-notch these days. Partnering with cloud systems and backing up information helps to regain balance if ever there is an attack on the services’ network.

Another means of ensuring important data stays protected is by keeping data offline through disconnected network drives. E-commerce websites today enable payment integration through various digital means. One of the best ways of ensuring proper protection of funds and vital customer information in this variation is by storing it in a secure drive.


The world is undergoing a digital revolution and the business landscape is not left out. Especially with the coronavirus pandemic slowing down business processes and operations, businesses are now moving digitally.

Given this disruption, cyber crimes are becoming more lucrative with small businesses vulnerable to these attacks. As a business owner, it is therefore vital to note that arming businesses with an updated security checklist is a sure way of minimizing the susceptibility of networks to attacks of any sort.