If you think that being a small business makes you immune to data security issues, you are grossly mistaken. The truth is that your small scale business is a far easier target with the miniscule level of manpower, money, security protection and technology involved, when compared to large businesses. And making matters worse is the fact that the attackers may not be after your data, but eyeing your top clientele. This can lead to loss of trust.
Security risks for small businesses
Small businesses have as many or more reasons as large businesses to protect their data. Here are some important reasons.
1. Weak security:
Hackers find it easy to infiltrate the small business websites as most owners are reluctant or lazy when they have to spend money on cyber security. The minimal awareness about security risk makes them an easier target.
2. Data is the criterion here:
For hackers, data is the ultimate target. If your business has the type of data they are looking for, you are already on their radar. If you have plenty of confidential data including credit card information, customer contact, health data or other such information, it is important to reassess your security measures.
3. Leaving behind a trail:
When you started out you would have done all you can to make your business grow, which includes signing up for as many services online as you can like cloud tools, emails, bank accounts etc. These are vulnerable links that are sure to lead the cyber hackers to your business. Proper security will prevent you from such potential dangers.
4. Getting to your clients through you:
Even if you are not dealing with much of the sensitive data, hackers may be using you to bait the bigger clients that you conduct business with. If you have large companies as your clients, this is all the more reason to invest in security failing which you will have to face devastating consequences.
5. Internet connection
If you are using an unsecure Wi-Fi connection, you are definitely at risk. Accessing all sensitive information of the company via a Wi-Fi connection that is not secure often happens when employees do it from a remote location. Strict measures should be taken to restrict such security risks.
Recovering from an attack
Small business may have to shell out a huge amount on direct and indirect costs to deal with a security attack and its repercussions. So, the best thing you can do for your business is
- Evaluate the right budget for your data security using gap analysis
- Assess the efficacy of your present security infrastructure
- Do a professional audit of the IT system
- Decide on the type of protection you need such as operational, personal, customer or financial
- Know how much risk tolerance you have
If there is already a data security system present, upgrading costs will not be much. Most of the expenses would be on maintenance and training of employees. It would be expensive, if you have to start from scratch. Make sure you compare prices and take care of security with due diligence.
Stopping the attacks
The main thinghere is you have to know that the hackers too are operating on a limited budget and would not care to lose money by spending more time on data access. When you have strong security measures in place, it will make it difficult for the hackers and not worth their time or effort.
Small businesses should be aware of the security risks and be vigilant. Being unaware about a security risk is in itself a huge risk and weak point for business owners. Hence it is important for user awareness programs and monetary rewards for employees who identify phishing attacks.
Restricted security risks and increased awareness will result even, if such measures eat up precious time. This also serves to extend the effectiveness of your limited security measures.
Enhancing security with a minimal budget
There are several ways by which you can improve security without overspending.
- Awareness about security issues inside the company is critical. When you prepare your employees, they will be more ready to react to a breach of company information than those who are ignorant of its existence.
- Find out about low budget software security systems including anti-malware and antivirus products. Application firewalls too should be taken care of. Make sure they are reliable security
- Hiring IT security experts is also an investment that should be considered. It will actually compensate for the loss of money, trust and devastation you face with a breach in security.
- A solid backup system is another consideration to look into. Instead of file level backing going for a backup that is image based is an effective, as it is a comprehensive cover that saves programs, files operating system, permissions, files and programs and everything else. It also reduces the recovery time.
With security breaches becoming more and more sophisticated and hard to prevent, it is more crucial than ever to put some solid security measures to keep the hackers out of your business.