Top 5 Cyber Risks Facing Small Businesses

Just about every business relies heavily on a wide range of IT, such as smart devices, PCs and cloud-based systems. Oftentimes, business owners hold customer data, employee information and possibly detailed copyright information; which are all very vulnerable to cyber risks regardless of the business size. Having a better understanding of the threats posed in a cyber-world and remaining aware will help protect digital assets, intellectual property and the business as a whole.

Contrary to popular belief, small businesses are commonly a target for hackers. Many business owners make the mistake of assuming their information isn’t valuable to prepatraitors. However, any information stored on your systems could be of interest to criminals.

Take note of the top five cyber risks to be cautious of. 


Ransomware is a form of malicious software, attempting to encrypt data to then extort a ransom and release an unlock code. Most ransomware is started from malicious emails.

Make sure that all staff stay very cautious of unsolicited emails, especially those seeking a prompt response.

It is also in your best interest to install and maintain good anti-virus and malware protection software.

Be sure to keep your applications up to date and regularly test back ups. A series of well managed data backups will allow you to recover from an unencrypted version of a file.


Phishing is when criminals try to retreive private information while posing as a trustworthy contact, for instance a bank. Spear phishing is a more narrowed approach to gain information from an individual. This will likely be very convincing, often with wording and logos on point. One form of spear phishing involves a fake email from a what appears to be from a CEO asking an executive to make an urgent payment. This is called Whaling. Consider implementing safety measures to protect the identities of CEOs and CFOs to prevent impersonation. 

Make use of anti-malware software and ensure you have spam filters turned on. Ensure mobile devices have passcode locks and turn on the tracking by GPS and the option to remotely wipe the device if it is lost. Also, it is smart to use encryption software for portable storage devices to prevent mobile cyber risks.


Getting IT systems access from outside an organization still offers opportunity for criminals. They can gain access to bank account information or credit card databases, as well as intellectual property. The use of social engineering, or tricking staff into giving usernames and passwords, is a huge threat. You can help prevent hacking by installing network firewalls, data access security, procedures for providing and removing access, and user awareness and training.

If your organization employs staff, there is a chance they could leak data by mistake or maliciously. The potential damage from a leak of documents can be devastating to your business. Mitigate a data leak by educating your team to be alert to issues and minimize careless mistakes. It is also in your best interest to limit how much data staff has access to. Control the use of portable storage devices and consider using applications in certain situations to monitor staff behavior. Alongside technology, well-developed processes, procedures and staff training can make all the difference in protecting valuable data.

How to Handle a Breach 

If you discover you have been breached, along with filing a Texas cyber liability insurance claim, take the following steps to help to contain the situation: 

  • Change passwords and make them stronger
  • Inform your bank and credit card companies
  • Consider shutting your systems down
  • Report the incident to ActionFraud
  • Communicate to all involved, whether that be customers and/or clients , so they understand what happened. 
  • Consider hiring an expert to assess the extent of the breach and advise on corrective action.
  • Document everything you do and implement an Incident Response Plan, outlining how you will respond to the breach. 

About Transparity Insurance Services

Transparity Insurance Services was founded for the purpose of helping clients to ensure their property and assets with no hassle. We are committed to providing a simple, easy, efficient, and positive experience to all of our clients, and prioritize open and transparent communication with our clients. Through our excellent customer service and technology, we can help you to find the right insurance program at a competitive price. Contact us today at (855) 889-2037 to learn more about what we can do for you.