Effective data protection is now an essential part of growing a brand

As a small business, it’s easy to think you aren’t much of a target for cybercriminals. When all the headlines are about data breaches against huge corporations, you’d be forgiven for assuming that hackers have bigger fish to fry than your brand. However, this isn’t necessarily true.

Some of the biggest data breaches of the 21st century began in small businesses. In fact, according to Wired, 67% of companies with less than 1,000 employees have experienced a cyberattack, and 58% have undergone a full breach of data.

There are no shortage of cyberthreats against small businesses, but understanding how and why you might be targeted can give you the upper hand when it comes to protecting your assets. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at just how important cybersecurity is for small business success.

What makes your business a target?

Your data

Even small businesses hold data that can be valuable to hackers, such as credit card numbers, medical records, bank account credentials and more. Cybercriminals are always seeking new ways to steal this data, and smaller businesses with less protection can offer easier targets for them.

Your power

Computing power is something else by all businesses, big or small. Hackers are often to use company computers and conscript them into bots that perpetuate DDoS attacks. This works by artificially generating huge amounts of web traffic to a company in order to disrupt business as usual/

Your connections

Businesses don’t operate alone. Digital connections, transactions, supply chains and information chains all mean that your company has links to other companies, some of which may be significantly larger than you. As such, hackers may wish to use your business as a stepping stone to a bigger target.

Your cash

Cybercriminals target businesses primarily for profit. As long as an attack is likely to be lucrative, hackers will probably go through with it, whether the business is small or not.

What are the risks to your business?


This is one of the most common ways for cybercriminals to target businesses. It locks up computers and encrypts data, holding it hostage – usually for a price, hence the ‘ransom’ element. Owners need to pay a hefty ransoms in order for hackers to release a decryption key and grant them access to their data again.


People at all levels of the business can fall for phishing if you don’t know the signs to watch out for. It usually involves goading users into clicking a URL or email attachment that contains a virus. The more sophisticated the phishing attempt, the harder it becomes to spot it for what it is.


Also known as ‘malware advertising’, this involves delivering malware to a network after a user clicks on an apparently legitimate advert. This particular brand of phishing is hard to identify because of how it is disguised.

Software vulnerabilities

If you’ve never taken cybersecurity seriously in your business, chances are you’re operating with a lot of software vulnerabilities in place. Vulnerable areas in popular platforms like WordPress or Java act as empty goals for hackers, giving them easy access to your valuable data.


Clickjacking involves hiding hyperlinks in compromised webpages, causing users to inadvertently click through to potentially harmful sites. On these sites, users might be asked to reveal personal data for seemingly legitimate reasons, which hackers can then steal for nefarious purposes.

Drive-by downloads

This involves downloading malware into networks without users realising it. Sometimes users will need to respond to a pop-up window in order to initiate downloads, but other times it just involves visiting a compromised website.

How to protect your business data

Any organisation, big or small, puts themselves at risk by neglecting cybersecurity, so don’t assume that you aren’t a target because you’re a small brand. As you grow, find greater success and become more interconnected with the broader business community, this risk will inevitably increase.

In order to protect your organisation against the threat of cybercrime, businesses must stay up to date with how threats are developing. Investing in 360-degree cybersecurity measures can utilise firewalls, programs and network security solutions in order to protect against a range of potential cyber threats, including malware, ransomware and bots.

Remember: when it comes to cybersecurity, prevention is always better (and cheaper) than having to find a cure for an incident. Or, to put it a different way: be proactive rather than reactive.

While you can never fully remove the threat of a data breach, investing in effective cybersecurity support can significantly reduce the target on your back.

If you’re trying to navigate the modern business landscape, we can help. TEDCO Business Support has helped thousands of start-ups get their feet off the ground in the region, helping them start, grow and achieve sustainable success in their field.

logo-erdfGot a business you’d like to launch in 2023? Get in touch with the team at TEDCO Business Support today. Give us a call on 0191 516 61 02 or drop us an email at hello@tedco.org.

What we offer

TEDCO offers one-on-one support provided by a dedicated team of business advisors and a range of pre start seminars available to clients who are taking the first steps into self-employment. This could be looking at an initial idea and developing it further, looking at how to start a business plan, business competitors, business marketing.

Are you eligible?

If you are looking to start and grow a business we’d love to hear from you. Our friendly team of experienced Business Advisors are on hand to take your call to discuss the support available.

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