Why is network security essential to Small Business

Common Network Security Challenges for Small Businesses

Small businesses need to have strong network security to protect their customer data, establish trust in their product, and have a successful business. Small businesses have challenges that are not seen in larger businesses. They have to do more with less. When networks are breached, data is at risk and connections are not secure. Small businesses experience similar challenges with their network security. They also see similar cyber security threats.

Challenge 1. Rising Costs

A recent study found that the number one reason why businesses do not fully invest in security challenges is due to budget and increasing costs. As technology advances, the investment needed in full network security is only going to increase. For small businesses that have tight revenue margins and many competing needs, full network security is something that might get neglected.

Challenge 2. Informal Policies

Processes and procedures are critical to following protocol and maximizing security. Small businesses are more likely to not have their security procedures documented. Processes that are documented are often found in more than one place and not always updated. With how quickly technology is changing, having a messy workflow and documentation means that networks are not going to be as secure as they could be.

Challenge 3. Employee Training

Employees are a huge risk factor in network security. Human error causes 47 percent of data breaches at organizations. This is largely due to the fact that employees are not trained on how to maintain network security. These security breaches costs millions of dollars and can totally devastate a business. Employees might access secure information over an open network or work with a vendor who does not have the security protocols in place. The training of employees cannot be a one time thing, but it is intensive for small businesses to engage in consistent training.

Challenge 4. Technical Skill

Cyber criminals are opportunistic and are always looking for ways to sneak into businesses. Their strategies and skill sets are constantly advancing. Small businesses need to consistently train and make sure their strategies to keep their network secure are current. This is actually a large and complicated task and requires significant investments of time and money.

Threat 1. Viruses and Worms

Viruses and worms infiltrate the internal processes and systems of networks. The challenge with cloud and networked computers is that if a virus or worm gets infiltrated on one computer and then spread to other computers. This threat can be minimized with the installation of antimalware software on all computers and with constant monitoring of networks to identify any possible security breaches.

Threat 2. Botnets

Viruses and worms are relatively simply threats. Botnets are more complicated networks that are able to place several tiny Botnets into computers. These botnets are run by Command and Control networks where hackers put a distributed denial of service attack on your website. This means that the website is unable to process valid requests while it is under attack. Because botnets work in many different parts of the system at one time, to prevent their attack requires a coordinated effort.

Threat 3. Phishing Attacks

If you have ever received an email that looks legitimate but a little bit sketchy at the same time, then it is likely an attempt at a phishing attack. Phishing attacks will use information and messaging that makes it seem like they are from a legitimate company or department, but there are red flags that show that they are not legitimate. One of the challenges with phishing attacks is that they are almost entirely dependent on your employees knowing what to look for. Anytime a faulty link is opened, there is the risk of a phishing attack. Good employee training is critical for minimizing the threat of phishing attacks.


Small businesses face constant threats from cybersecurity. It is a necessity to have an online presence for your website, to engage customers, and to attract visitors. At the same time, this online presence exposes your small business to risks that would otherwise be invisible. By taking a systematic approach and focusing on overcoming challenges and minimizing threats, your small business can thrive in a technology-focused world.