For small business owners, the internet has made things a lot easier. In some cases, it is the very heart of the company. Unfortunately, along with the convenience, the world wide web also brings many vulnerabilities. While cyberattacks in larger corporations dominate the news, small businesses are the biggest target.

Just a few weeks ago, the Colonial Pipeline cyber incident sent shock waves through the nation. Since there have been several other attacks; the world’s largest meat producer, JBS Foods, Iowa college, hospitals in Ireland, and so many more.

While these are headline makers, millions of other attacks are never mentioned in the media.

Cyber incidents can range from mildly irritating to downright destructive. IBM reports that a small organization (less than 500 employees), on average, spends about $7.68 million per incident.

The United States is the Top Target

Because of the advanced infrastructure and its major dependency on the internet, the United States is the number one target for hackers around the world. However, certain cities are more likely to be attacked than others.

According to a report from Enigma Software, bad actors targeted certain cities in Florida more than any other place in the country.

Moreover, to make things worse, a notorious ransomware gang has recently announced that it will be doubling its focus on US targets.

It is paramount for your small businesses to prepare themselves for the worst. Here are a few things that you can do to absorb the impact of a ransomware attack.

Educate Your Employees

Believe it or not, 92 percent of malware comes through emails, and ransomware is no exception. It is often spread through phishing emails with malicious links or attachments, tricking people into clicking on them.

Many phishing emails are sent every day; some of these will likely end up in your inbox or someone that works for you. Thus, training employees to recognize and adequately address these emails will help minimize your organization’s exposure to ransomware.

With that in mind, implementing an awareness and training program is paramount.

Simply implementing quarterly training to your employees will drastically curb the chances of a successful attack.

Creating and Maintaining Security Solutions

To lower the chances of a cyberattack, you should create security solutions. For example, installing antivirus and regularly updating is a way to help detect possible malware.

Additionally, ensure that the anti-virus is set up to scan and automatically download daily updates. Finally, it is essential to scan all incoming and outgoing emails to detect possible threats from reaching your employees.


Ransomware is malicious software that blocks access to your file. One simple way to bypass this malware is to override it with a previous version of your own system.

Hence, the importance of creating daily back-ups and maintaining them either on the cloud or offline. Using a backup to restore the system will expedite the recovery process.

Cyber Liability Insurance

I know, purchasing another set of insurance might not be on the top of your priority list. But, when dealing with people’s personally identifiable information (PII), you should consider cyber liability insurance.

There is no standard policy for this type of insurance. Basically, as the business owner, you would work with the insurance company to tailor something that best fits your current demands. Prices start as low as $500 per year.

Closing Thoughts

Whether you have been in business for some time or just starting, you are likely to be a target for bad actors. You should be extra careful if your company is storing PII or credit card information. As the odds of a cyber-attack have been increasing over the last few years, it is paramount for your company to establish a security protocol.

Regardless of how sophisticated your security might be, black hat hackers are constantly finding vulnerabilities. However, implementing good security practices will curb the changes and lower the impact of the attack.

Originally published here.