If you think your small business in St. Mary Parish is too small for hackers to care about, think again. A 2023 study showed that almost half of all cyberattacks target small and medium-sized businesses.

Cybercriminals often see such businesses as easy targets because they usually don’t have the resources or the know-how to implement strong cybersecurity measures.

A recent study also revealed that over 70% of small business owners faced a cyberattack in 2022. When these attacks happen, they can cost a lot of money. For many small businesses, that kind of financial hit can be devastating.

The Most Common Cyber Threats Targeting Small Businesses


Phishing is a common and deceptive cyberattack method that comes in the form of an email designed to trick you into revealing sensitive information, such as passwords or financial details.

Much like fraudulent phone calls claiming you’ve won a prize, phishing emails have become increasingly sophisticated, making it more difficult to distinguish them from legitimate messages.


Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts your files and makes them inaccessible. The attacker then demands a ransom payment in exchange for the decryption key needed to regain access to your data.


Hackers sneak malware onto your computers without you realizing it. They trick you into clicking pop-ups or visiting hacked websites that automatically download the malware. 

Insider Threats

The threat can also come from within your own company. It could be a disgruntled worker or someone who’s not careful with their login info.

Be sure to update passwords in regular intervals, such as every 30 days, to reduce the risk of former employees maintaining access to shared emails and website access.

Basic Cybersecurity Measures for Small Businesses in St. Mary Parish

Lock Down Your Passwords and Add Layers of Security

Start with the essentials: create strong passwords and update them often. It’s like putting a tough lock on your front door.

For extra protection, add multi-factor authentication. Even if someone cracks the password, they’ll still need to get through another layer of security.

Cybersecurity Training for Employees

Make sure everyone in your company understands the basics of staying safe online. Regular training can turn your employees from potential security gaps into strong defenders against cyber threats. 

Have a Backup Plan and Be Ready for Anything

Consistently back up your important business data and create a clear action plan in case things go wrong (a disaster recovery plan).

Don’t Fall for Suspicious Links or Files

Encourage your team to be cautious online. If an email, link, or file seems suspicious, it’s likely a trap. Steering clear of these can stop many common cyberattacks before they happen.

Secure Your Wi-Fi

To secure your workplace Wi-Fi, ensure that it is encrypted and not visible to others. You can hide your Wi-Fi by configuring your router or access point to stop broadcasting the network name (SSID).

Additionally, set a strong password to protect against unauthorized access to the router settings. 

Strengthen Web Security

Your website is your digital storefront, so make sure it’s secure. Talk to your website developer about adding layers of security to fend off attacks and keep customer data safe. Also, make sure the website plugins are updated when required.

Cybersecurity is Non-Negotiable for Small Businesses in St. Mary Parish

In St. Mary Parish, cybersecurity is a top priority for small businesses, just like it is for big companies. Whether you’re in Berwick, Franklin, Morgan City, or anywhere else in the parish, protecting your business from cyber threats is as crucial as locking up your shop at the end of the day.

It’s not just about avoiding financial losses; it’s also about maintaining your good name and staying compliant with regulations. 

Our Small Business Resource Center is here to help in St. Mary Parish. We provide free business development services, including site selection assistance for businesses looking to set up shop in Berwick, Franklin, Morgan City, or other parts of the parish, as well as workforce support to help you build a strong team.

Get in touch with us at St. Mary Economic Development, and let’s work together to grow your business in our community.

Contact Us Today!