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Small Business Cyber Security Plan Template

About 60% of small businesses that are hit with a cyber attack go out of business in 6 months.

That worrying statistic is compounded by the fact that almost half of all cyber attacks target small businesses.

In order to guard your business against hackers, you need to develop a plan and a policy for handling cyber attacks. Where do you begin to create such a plan?

Start with this small business cyber security plan template. Keep reading to have all of the information you need to create a cyber security plan that will help your business.

The Three Parts of Cyber Security

A cyber security plan has to be broken down into three parts: prevention, detection, and response.

You can do your best to prevent a cyber attack, but that probably won’t be enough to deter hackers. If hackers do breach your systems, then you want to have plans in place to detect them as soon as possible. Once an attack is detected, then you can respond to it.

These three parts of cyber security are a must to develop a comprehensive small business cyber security plan template.

Prevention Plan

Prevention is going to be the bulk of your cyber security plan. You can start preventing cyber attacks by knowing what your current vulnerabilities are.

You have to know what the current threats are and perform a cyber security audit to learn how vulnerable you are to these threats.

For example, hackers have taken to ransomware attacks. These are attacks that lock up all of the data in your network and the hackers hold it for a monetary ransom. The largest attacks have cost a total of $144 million so far in 2020.

These attacks are increasing because more people are working remotely. You could find that you and your employees don’t know what can trigger a ransomware attack. That’s a huge vulnerability.

You and your employees need the training to learn how to spot these attacks, which usually happens by clicking on an email or a link.

Other areas to focus on preventing these attacks should include updating software regularly, performing regular audits, and making sure you back up your data often.

Detection Plan

How will you know that a data breach or hack has occurred? That’s the question you need to answer in your detection plan. With most small businesses, cyber security is left to the business owner.

You’re focused on a million other things, such as trying to be profitable. You don’t have time to monitor your systems 24/7.

A data breach may already be happening and you don’t even know it. Cyber experts say that IT professionals should detect a breach within 100 days.

In other words, hackers could have access to your sensitive data for months without going noticed. Most businesses don’t have a detection plan in place, which is why they find out about breaches from outside sources.

The main source is a law enforcement agency. You want to avoid that by having your systems constantly monitored for breaches. An IT partner like can help you with your detection, prevention, and response efforts.

Phishing and ransomware attacks happen much more quickly. You’ll know that you’ve been breached when your network locks up, or when devices on your network start acting up.

Response Plan

You need to have a plan in place to respond to attacks as soon as you detect them. There should be different plans in place that address different types of attacks.

With a data breach, you have to patch and security holes, determine what data was compromised, and how long the breach went undetected.

In a ransomware attack, you have to shut down your entire network before everything is compromised. It requires an immediate response plan.

Your next steps in your response plan are crucial. You have to know if the compromised data can be recovered or if it’s permanently lost. You need to assess the financial damages to your company, too.

The business may be required by law to inform users or customers if their data was compromised. Your next steps are to notify law enforcement officials and your insurance company.

General business insurance isn’t likely to cover a cyber attack. Insurance companies offer specific cyber policies to cover losses sustained in a breach.

You should consider cyber security insurance if your business handles health or financial data. It will cover business interruption losses, some PR costs, and can provide ID theft protection for your customers.

Documented Policies and Training

It’s not enough to have a cyber security plan for small business. You have to have formal policies in place for all employees and contractors that address security issues.

Your policy should talk about how devices access your network outside of the office. The policy should address employee training to keep up with the latest threats and how to prevent them.

Your policies should be updated and reviewed every 3-6 months to ensure that they tackle the latest threats.

Creating a Small Business Cyber Security Plan Template

Cyber security isn’t something to joke about. Even for the smallest businesses, it’s something that needs to be taken seriously, or you run the risk of losing your entire business.

Using this small business cyber security plan template to create a security plan for your business is the first step in protecting it. The plan needs to look at security as prevention, detection, and response. You have to follow that up with a documented policy and regular training for employees.

That’s how you create a solid cyber security plan. For more tips to protect and grow your business, visit the home page of this site.

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