Safeguarding Your Small Business Against Digital Threats

Topics: Cyber Liability Small Business

It’s 2024. Software developers are getting better and better at providing digital security that can protect your small business’s data. But cybercriminals also continue to step up their game. Their attacks cause companies significant financial loss and damage their reputations.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to learn about what these bad actors do and how you can protect your company from their tactics. Here are three of the most basic attacks cybercriminals perform and what you can do about them:

Insider Threats

The most basic form of cybercrime is insider threats. As its name indicates, this is when someone from within a company commits a crime or causes it through negligence.

It could be as simple as hiring a dishonest employee who uses their credentials to steal from the company. Or it could be an employee who leaves their login information on a sticky note on their monitor, which others can see and use to access sensitive company data. Another practical example would be an outside contractor, such as a cleaning crew member, observing an employee logging into their system and obtaining their credentials.
While it’s difficult to fully protect against insider threats, you can take steps such as:
  • Screening potential and current employees through criminal background checks
  • Monitoring potentially disgruntled employees — such as someone who was given two weeks’ notice or an employee who expected but didn’t get a promotion — for suspicious activity in their company login
  • Educating employees about insider threats and teaching them to be careful
  • Setting up two-step verification so that cybercriminals won’t be able to get in even if an employee’s password is compromised
A software professional can also help you regularly monitor for suspicious activity within your network. This way, if your network is compromised, you can catch it early.



Phishing has been around for nearly 30 years, which is about how long the internet has been commercialized. This type of attack is all about cybercriminals obtaining victims’ credentials and other sensitive information.
It starts with them sending emails, texts, or other digital communication to unsuspecting individuals. The content in these messages includes anything from a claim that the recipient won a prize to a letter from a bank or government institution the victim may be familiar with or a fictitious email from a colleague.

Make sure your employees know to refrain from responding to any of these messages. If it looks suspicious, they should assume it is until they verify with the person or institution that sent it. Responding with any information or clicking on a link within the message and providing information could compromise the entire company’s system. Even just clicking on a link might download malware that could track the user’s activity, allowing the criminal to obtain confidential information.


Cybercriminals use ransomware to encrypt a company’s software, locking the company out of its system. They get into the system through various methods, including:
  • Obtaining information through insiders
  • Using phishing attacks
  • Brute force attacks, where they run programs that eventually figure out an employee’s credentials
  • Back doors, or soft spots, such as software or internet-connected devices like lights or coffeemakers, with weaker security than the rest of the system
Once they encrypt a company’s system, they lock them out and demand a “ransom” to be let back in. Here are some preemptive measures you can take:
  • Make sure any devices that connect to your company’s network are secure.
  • Install encryption and intrusion detection software in your system.
  • Segment your system so that the remainder is safe if part of it is compromised.
  • Back up your system so you can access your data and continue to operate if you’re ever locked out.
If you’re ever the subject of a ransomware attack, contact law enforcement immediately. Many police departments have a cybercrime division or can contact the authorities who can help you through the situation.

How Tailored Insurance Policies Protect Against Financial Losses and Reputational Damage From Cyberattacks

When a small business is subject to an attack, there are two primary issues it has to deal with — financial loss and damage to its reputation. Having insurance policies tailored to your business can help mitigate these issues.

Financial Losses

Among the many areas of financial loss after a cyberattack on a company, here are some that cyber insurance may cover:
  • Lost income from interruption of service from attacks such as ransomware
  • The cost of recovering data your business may have lost in the attack
  • Legal fees resulting from lawsuits from people harmed by the cyberattack
  • Paying employees or customers who suffered losses due to the attack
Without the proper coverage, the company would have to carry these costs on its own.

Reputational Damage

A cyberattack can make a small business look irresponsible and cause significant harm to its reputation, but having a cyber insurance policy in place can soften the blow in the following ways:
  • The fact that the company obtained cyber coverage shows a strong degree of responsibility
  • Cyber policies may cover the cost of hiring a public relations firm to help restore its reputation
  • This coverage can also help affected employees and customers secure compromised accounts
Although it may take time for the company to fully regain its reputation, cyber insurance puts it in a better position to do so.

Insure Your Company Against Cyberattacks

There are many more tactics cybercriminals use to steal money and data from small businesses. These attacks can severely harm a company’s reputation.
You can protect your company from the damage caused by cyberattacks by obtaining cyber insurance through AmTrustCyber. Contact one of our agents who can help you tailor a plan to your small business’s needs.

Time Zones