No matter if you run a company of one, or have thousands of employees all over the world, keeping your sensitive information away from potential threats is critical to your success.
Yet studies consistently show that as many as 8 in 10 businesses have had a data breach at some point in the previous two years.
Once a company loses sensitive data, they can can quickly face insurmountable direct and indirect costs. It may begin by reimbursement to customers. It can include data recovery costs, as the company painstakingly tries to recreate lost data from scratch. But even worse than the direct costs it will face on the information side is the damage to their reputations. Its difficult to build trust with customers; it can be lost in a second with a publicized event.
Yet like many things that happen in a business environment every single day, security breaches do not come without warning. There are clear indications that your data may be at risk.
1. Employee negligence
Employees are a company’s greatest asset – and its weakest link. The larger your company, the more employees you have come and go. With each password created and account access given, it releases your data in a variety of ways. People use mobile devices, and can access your data from anywhere in the world. They open up attachments and click on links in embedded spam. They forget to change passwords regularly, or make them so easy it leaves a vulnerable hole. Even without malicious intentions in mind, employees can leave your data open to the whole wide world.
2. Not using the right technology
Small and medium sized businesses are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to security. Keeping track of new technologies and new threats is more than a full time job. And when a company isn’t large enough to have the proper staff on hand to monitor security fully, it means you may be operating with old, unsafe systems at best.
3. Not having a backup policy in place
Backup processing is something each and every one of us knows is vitally important, yet its often overlooked. Studies show that more than 60 percent of all small and medium sized businesses state they do not backup their data regularly, and cite budget and resources as the primary reasons why.
4. New technology
What gives us more power to do our jobs in an easier way also makes us more vulnerable. Laptops, smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices allow us to carry work with us everywhere we go. It also leaves sensitive data open and for the taking for anyone willing to grab the device in a coffee shop, airport or hotel room.
5. Lack of policies
Not only is it important to have strong security policies in place, its equally important to train employees about IT security procedures as well.
To help combat the potential threats and help protect your company’s data, its important to put companywide security practices into place.
Start by closing doors and installing effective security. We can help by providing you with solid resources that will eliminate some of the weakest points most small to medium sized businesses have today.
Then begin educating your employees about the importance of security. Passwords are the first key; the stronger you make it to get into an account, the less likely intruders will have access. Also stress the importance of keeping mobile devices safe and secure at all times, no matter where in the world they are. And if a problem does arise – losing a tablet, for instance – assure them that quick action is by far the best course of action. A tablet is easier to replace than putting colleagues, customers and the entire organization at risk.
As always, if you have any questions about the security of your company’s data, lets connect.