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Developing a cybersecurity plan for your small business is essential, whether you have an ecommerce site or not.. With the rise in cloud computing and remote working, everyone is more unmoored from traditional office security networks with reliance on the users home network security as a first line defence. Unsurprisingly, an ever-increasing number of cyberattacks are affecting businesses of all sizes.  According to our partner SonicWall, as at the midway point in 2023, there was a 399% rise in cryptojacking, 22% rise in encrypted attacks, 37% rise in attacks against Internet of Things (IoT) devices and an increase in targeted and high profile cyber attacks.

Chances are, attackers will target your business at some point. How you prepare and respond at that moment will either create more trouble for your operation or prove a triumph. This article offers some simple guidance on how to start a cybersecurity plan for your small business.

Key Takeaways:

  • It's likely a case of when — not if — a criminal will attack your business online.
  • An attack is not necessarily all about stealing your data and exposing that to the public domain, but simply knowing that your company data is valuable to you is enough.  A criminal can use this control to blackmail you.
  • How you prepare can determine if the attack causes little or no damage, or jeopardises your company's survival.
  • Knowing where you're most vulnerable and developing plans to plug those gaps immediately is key.

Why Is a Cybersecurity Plan Important?

Preparation is much more than half the battle. While it's impossible to stop all attacks, it's crucial to have a plan if a hacker breaches your defences or confidential information is leaked by a malicious insider.

How you respond to a cyberattack determines whether your business suffers a little or sinks under the pressure of an out-of-control security breach. A well-thought-out cybersecurity plan helps your business prepare for the worst while giving you a roadmap to navigate problems calmly and methodically. Most importantly, a plan doesn’t have to be complicated for most small and medium businesses.

5 Steps for Developing a Cybersecurity Plan

1. Identify Your Threats and Avenues of Attack

Start with the premise that it’s your responsibility to keep your organisations data safe and secure.  Users have to click on links, download files and access websites in order to do their role.  It is inevitable that at some point a user will click the wrong thing, download a file they shouldn’t or give away information in error. Attacks are getting ever more convincing and with AI on the horizon, that’s going to get even more sophisticated.

Understanding your business, including all assets, potential avenues of attack, and mapping out where an attack might occur, is the first step. You need to understand where you're most vulnerable and address these concerns, whether through encryption, configurations, software updates, or employee training.

2. Identify Legal Obligations

Every business must adhere to legal requirements, such as data protection and privacy compliance. Understand which compliance standards your business follows and how they affect your security solutions.

3. Prioritise Assets and Risks

Develop a risk assessment and a prioritised list of assets. Determine the most crucial aspects of your business, evaluate the level of risk, and create countermeasures for each threat.

4. Develop Security Plans and Policies to Fit Your Needs

Cybersecurity is about assessing threats, developing defensive strategies, deploying measures, mitigating risk, evolving with the changing landscape, and reacting whenever a threat challenges or breaches your defences. Developing a reaction plan is essential, and working with a third party like We Are Your IT can guide you through this complex process.

Get yourself accredited to a security standard.  A great place to start in the UK is with Cyber Essentials Accreditation from the National Cyber Security Centre (link below). The Gold standard is to achieve at least ISO 27001 Information Security.

5. Test Your Plan

Testing your plan through penetration tests or ethical hacking helps to find weaknesses in your defences. These can be various types, like white box, black box, covert, external, and internal tests, each providing different insights into your vulnerabilities.

Put a backup system in place which is independent from your business.  Test this regularly as this will mitigate all ransomware attacks and have you back up and running very quickly.

Refresh Your Defences with We Are Your IT

Now that you're on your way to refurbishing your cyber defences, perhaps it's time to refresh your security perimeter with the best computer security software on the market.

We have further information about some top tips for improving security and you can find those here.

We Are Your IT has all the resources, guides, and reviews you need to pick the right cybersecurity tools whether it’s your first time around or a review of your existing system., Our team of experts and our resources can help you build a robust defence around your most precious assets.


The ever-shifting security environment requires that businesses of all sizes stay ahead of potential threats. By understanding your specific vulnerabilities and crafting a tailored cybersecurity plan, you can minimise risk and safeguard your company's future. Trust in We Are Your IT to guide you through this critical process, ensuring that your business remains resilient and confident in the face of evolving cyber challenges.

Further Reading:

There are some great resources at the National Cyber Security Centre website.  You can find those here.

Information about Cyber Essentials Accreditation can be found here or here.

Visit our Learning Hub Security section which can be found here.

Transform your Cyber Security offering by talking to us first.

Don't feel that your organisation is safe from attack. Take action to safeguard your users and data and put yourself a Cyber Security plan in place.

Our team of IT experts have the experience in helping small and medium sized businesses to stay safe and secure.

So, whether you’re starting a fresh or have an existing system in place you want reviewing, we’re only a quick message away.

Contact our tech team today