All the gobbledegook in security can by boiled down into one problem: mean people sometimes try to make bad things happen to you. The jerks you need to worry about are after things they can easily turn into money:
1. your money
2. your secrets
3. your reputation
Jerks sometimes have two other goals, but these usually aren’t important for most small businesses:
4. Hurt your business out of spite
5. Steal your resources
You know your business better than anyone, and already probably know which of these five is scariest.
You cannot totally stop these bad things, and you shouldn’t try. Life has risk, and anyone telling you differently is selling a lie. There are many fixes – some are easy, and some cost more than your annual earnings. None of them is a silver bullet, and the best ideas don’t cost much. You’re probably doing some of these already.
No fix will stop anyone, they just make it harder to nail you. The everyday jerks won’t come after you if there’s an easier mark down the street. If someone is out to get you (you're worried about #4 above), the ideas here are still the best ones, you just will need to do more of them.
Making your plan
For each way a jerk could hurt you, see below for a summary of the easiest, cheapest ways to protect yourself. In security, doing simple things right goes a long way, and each idea will protect you from lots of bad things. Choose only three fixes, and shelve the rest. Write down all the steps to how you’ll get them done - for some of the complicated fixes, we offer detailed guides.