Essential Cybersecurity Practices for Local Businesses

Nelet Kok
August 2, 2023

For local businesses that have embraced technology to streamline operations and enhance customer experiences. While these technological advancements have undoubtedly brought numerous benefits, they have also exposed businesses to potential cyber threats. 

Cybercriminals are continuously evolving their tactics to exploit vulnerabilities, and without adequate protection, even small businesses can fall prey to devastating cyber-attacks. To safeguard your digital footprint, here are five essential cybersecurity practices that every Door County business should implement.

1. Conduct Regular Employee Training and Awareness Programs

One of the most significant vulnerabilities in any organization's cybersecurity defense is its own employees. Often, cybercriminals use social engineering techniques to manipulate employees into disclosing sensitive information or clicking on malicious links. By conducting regular cybersecurity training and awareness programs for all staff members, you can instill a culture of security consciousness within your business community.

Employees should be educated about 

  • What is common phishing techniques
  • Password best practices, and 
  • How to identify suspicious emails or websites. 

Ensure employees understand the importance of strong, unique passwords and enable multi-factor authentication wherever possible. By keeping employees informed and vigilant, you create an effective first line of defense against cyber threats.

2. Implement Robust Data Encryption and Backup Solutions

Data is the lifeblood of any business, and its loss or compromise can be catastrophic. To protect your sensitive information from unauthorized access, ensure that all data stored on company devices or servers is encrypted. Encryption ensures that even if cybercriminals manage to infiltrate your systems, the data they steal remains unreadable and useless.

Additionally, regular data backups are crucial for quick recovery in case of a cyber incident or hardware failure. Implement automated backup solutions that store data in secure off-site locations. Cloud-based backup services provide an extra layer of protection, ensuring your data is safe from physical disasters and ransomware attacks.

3. Secure Your Networks and Wi-Fi

Door County business often provide Wi-Fi access to customers, which can be used by cybercriminals as a potential entry point to gain access to your internal network. To prevent unauthorized access, secure your Wi-Fi networks with strong encryption protocols, such as WPA2 or WPA3. Regularly change default passwords on Wi-Fi routers and ensure they are not easy to guess.

For internal networks, the use of firewalls creates a barrier between your trusted network and the untrusted internet. Sensitive information access can be restricted on a need-to-know basis, limiting the potential damage a cyber intruder can cause if they breach your defenses.

4. Keep Software and Systems Updated

Cybercriminals are clever and often look for vulnerabilities in software and operating systems to gain unauthorized access to your systems. To mitigate this risk, ensure that all software and applications are kept up to date with the latest security patches. Set up automatic updates whenever possible to help keep systems and software up to date. 

5. Develop an Incident Response Plan

Despite all preventive measures, no system is completely immune to cyber threats. It is essential to have a well-defined and updated incident response plan in place to respond quickly and effectively to any cyber incident. The plan should include 

  • A procedures for identifying and containing the breach, 
  • A process of notifying relevant stakeholders
  • And, a step-by-step process to recover from the attack.

Conduct regular drills and simulations to test the efficiency of your incident response plan, and make adjustments as needed to address any shortcomings.


Cybersecurity is a critical aspect of running a Door County business in the digital era. Implementing these essential cybersecurity practices can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to cyber-attacks and protect your business, your customers, and your reputation. By staying proactive and investing in security measures, local businesses in Wisconsin can create a resilient digital presence that withstands the ever-evolving cyber threat landscape. Remember, a strong defense against cyber threats is an investment in the long-term success and sustainability of your business.