10 Cybersecurity Measures Every Business Must Follow

The presence of cyber risks could lead to a disruption in the operations of any company and leaking of sensitive information. Hence, the emergence of ransomware and phishing scams has seen a more advanced sophistication on attacks emanating from these sources. No business, regardless of size or complexity, is safe from this. It is important to establish highly effective means to deter hackers’ activities in cyberspace. In this article, we outline 10 vital security practices every business should adopt:

  1. Enable multi-factor authentication
  2. Install endpoint detection and response tools
  3. Prioritize vulnerability identification and remediation
  4. Provide ongoing staff security awareness training
  5. Encrypt sensitive data
  6. Enforce principle of least privilege access
  7. Develop incident response plans
  8. Maintain backups and ensure disaster recovery readiness
  9. Control physical device access
  10. Stay informed on emerging threat trends

Read on for plain explanations of each critical security measure. Bolstering protections in these areas helps safeguard your company against damaging breaches.

1. Enable Multi-Factor Authentication

While logging into accounts, MFA provides an additional step of verification. Workers have to verify their identity apart from entering a password by using another device like a cell phone which sends them some codes. By implementing MFA, intrusion into the account is obstructed even if the password falls on the hands of outsiders through phishing or guessing.

For example, require all staff to setup MFA on critical account access such as email, network logins, and financial systems. This way even if an attacker guesses a password through phishing, they cannot access accounts without also physically having the employee’s phone to intercept the MFA code.

2. Install Endpoint Detection and Response Tools

Endpoint detection and response (EDR) tools provide advanced threat visibility that typical antivirus lacks. EDR uses sophisticated behavioral analysis to identify telltale signs of malicious activity that evade standard defenses. Detecting advanced attacks like fileless malware requires EDR capabilities. These tools also facilitate rapid response to contain detected threats.

For instance, EDR can detect attackers performing reconnaissance on networks, lateral movement between systems, and other subtle threats that traditional antivirus solutions often miss. IT teams should deploy EDR across all infrastructure to gain enhanced attack visibility.

3. Prioritize Vulnerability Scanning and Remediation

Actively scanning for security gaps before criminals exploit them is crucial. Vulnerability scanning tools probe environments for misconfigurations and missing patches that create risk. Identifying and remediating these deficiencies proactively reduces the attack surface. Schedule regular scans and address high and critical findings urgently.

4. Provide Ongoing Security Awareness Training

In spite of technology’s protection, it is the mistakes made by users that create an opportunity for a cyber attack. Consistent and regular security awareness training would assist in preventing employees from being trapped by phishing attempts as well as other forms of social engineering. Educate personnel on recognizing warning signs of attacks as threats evolve. Well-trained staff form a resilient last line of defense.

For example, conduct mock phishing campaigns internally to educate personnel on recognizing lures. This makes them more discerning against actual social engineering tactics aimed at capturing credentials or tricking staff into installing malware.

5. Encrypt Sensitive Data

Rendering stolen data useless protects companies if information gets compromised. Encrypting sensitive assets like customer records, financial files and healthcare data achieves this. Leverage encryption for data at rest and in transit. Even if cyber criminals steal encrypted information, they cannot read or misuse it without access to decryption keys.

Enable file and folder encryption capabilities available in Windows or via add-on security tools specifically for sensitive assets. Protecting confidentiality through encryption provides strong assurance even if attackers breach perimeter defenses.

6. Limit Access via Least Privilege Standards

The principle of least privilege only provides users minimal system permissions needed to complete assigned duties. This containment strategy limits damage from compromised accounts. If attackers breach a user’s credentials, strict allowances prevent lateral movement across wider infrastructure. Review staff access levels quarterly and revoke unneeded privileges promptly.

For instance, restrict accounting staff access to solely financial systems rather than providing network administrative powers. This containment approach limits damage from compromised credentials. If attackers breach an account, strict allowances prevent lateral movement across wider infrastructure.

7. Develop Incident Response Plans

Incident response (IR) plans prepare companies to respond quickly in a breach. Define specific roles, actions and tools required to detect, analyze and contain cyberattacks. Test IR capabilities through simulated exercises and update plans regularly. Rapid response limits impact and helps resume operations faster.

8. Maintain Backups and Ensure DR Readiness

Maintaining resilient backups enables recovery if systems get damaged by an attack. Test restorations regularly to verify backup integrity. Also assess overall business continuity preparations to resume essential operations during an outage. Cyber resilience requires sound backup and disaster recovery principles.

For example, ensure daily server and endpoint backups capture files in their native state, retaining the full content. Verify backup systems monthly by restoring sample files. This guarantees availability of clean copies that facilitate remediation after incidents.

9. Control Physical Device Access

Don’t overlook physical security which protects company hardware from theft or tampering. Lock server racks and endpoint workstations securely. Limit access to authorized personnel through keycard restrictions. Watch for unauthorized devices plugged into ports. Physical access controls reduce cyber attack vectors.

Prevent unauthorized devices from being plugged into ports or connections that could enable data exfiltration or malicious access. Watch also for missing equipment that could have been stolen. Physical security reduces cyber attack vectors.

As the threat landscape evolves, so must defenses. Cyber criminals constantly craft new attack methods and tools. Monitoring emerging risks allows you to adapt controls proactively. Join industry groups, follow trusted experts and automate threat data feeds. Ongoing learning helps identify and address key vulnerabilities before they get targeted.

For instance, monitoring Dark Web forums provides visibility into hacking tools and malware being developed. Proactively learning about emerging risks allows small businesses to shore up defenses before new threats impact them.


Implementing these 10 fundamental cybersecurity best practices provides a strong defense-in-depth posture. Just focusing on one or two areas leaves dangerous gaps. Adopting controls across people, processes and technology fortifies companies holistically against crippling breaches.


What are the most critical cybersecurity protections every small business should have in place?

Multi-factor authentication, endpoint security, staff training, data encryption, controlled access, incident response plans, reliable backups, physical security, and continuous learning about new threats are essential foundations.

What cybersecurity principles provide the best ROI?

Enforcing multi-factor authentication, installing EDR software, and providing phishing training offer very high return on investment. Each area greatly increases resilience while requiring reasonable effort to implement.

How often should vulnerability scanning be performed?

Ideally, conduct network and endpoint vulnerability scans on a monthly basis. Also scan after making significant infrastructure changes or upgrades. Remediate higher severity gaps as a priority.

What constitutes a strong password policy?

Require employees to create passwords with at least 12 characters including uppercase, lowercase, numbers and special symbols. Set passwords to expire every 90 days.

What are top ransomware protection tips?

Preventing ransomware means controlling access, patching aggressively, securing endpoints, training staff to recognize social engineering tactics, testing incident response plans, and maintaining offline backups. Assume networks will get breached and take resilience steps accordingly.

Picture of Hitesh Patel
Hitesh Patel
Hitesh Patel is an engineer turned business owner of WPG Consulting. He is a techie enthusiast who believes in finding creative IT solutions to solve consumer problems.

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