Small business data security

No matter the size of business, how companies handle and protect their data has become integral to the day-to-day operations. This means that data requirements from industry regulators and customers, have increased. Data is expected to be available 24/7×365, so without a working data security solution, organizations will suffer the consequences.

Data can be a companies most important asset. Whether it’s storing a customer’s email or storing a customer’s credit card and social security number, all data that is collected needs to be safeguarded. A breach or loss of information can directly correlate to financial losses through lack of sales and fines.

Profit isn’t the only thing that could take a hit when data is lost. Lack of trust and drop in reputation is likely to occur, making it difficult for companies to survive.

Most organizations understand the importance of data security but are unsure how or unable to protect their data based on best practices. The NTT Communications 2016 Risk: Value Report stated that 54 percent of respondents described information security as ‘vital’ to their business. Yet 75 percent people do not believe that all their business data is completely secure.

Why is Data Security for Small Businesses Important?

While customer experience is typically top of mind for small business owners, data security has become an afterthought. Unfortunately for those owners, you can’t provide a great customer experience without secure data.

There are many excuses for not having a proper data protection plan in place.

1. It’s too expensive

It’s important to remember that you don’t need to invest in the newest, high-end security system. Finding the right solution for your size is imperative. If businesses continue to use this excuse, recovering from a breach will be much costlier than investing on the front end would have been.

2. I’m too small to be at risk

Cyber criminals attack the first weakness they can find. Typically, this is at the mercy of small businesses. Yet, 87 percent of small business owners still don’t believe that their business is at risk of being hacked.

This thought process can lead hackers to steal money, employee and customers information and ultimately tarnish that customer experience so many owners work so hard to maintain.

3. I don’t know where to start

The first step is understanding all the data that the business is collecting and storing. Start by making a data inventory and take steps to get rid of the information that is no longer relevant or needed.

Then conduct an audit of your data inventory. How and where is the information being stored? Is it encrypted or behind a security firewall? Is it completely vulnerable? Take steps to ensure all information is not the later. LightEdge helps even the smallest companies secure their data through appropriate solutions.

Another easy step is making sure all company computers are regularly updated. This includes desktops, laptops, phones, tables, etc. Computer updates will make sure operating systems and web browsers are ready to protect against the latest threats.

Unauthorized people should not have or be given access to company computers or accounts. Employees at different superiority levels should have different access to technology. A great way to achieve this is having individual logins for employees that limit privileges for certain people.

Why is Data Security for Large-Sized Businesses Important

When there is so much data out there, controlling everything can be daunting for the large businesses. If not secured properly, even bigger disasters can arise.

Creating well-defined processes are essential for adequate security. Repeatable and current documented rules should be layered with everything from taking data out of the office to change management in IT departments. Although creating policies doesn’t seem to be the issue for larger businesses, as 94 percent of large businesses in the U.S. have a cybersecurity plan.

Communication is key

The next step for large to mid-sized businesses is communicating these policies and procedures to employees. The most common attacks that businesses are facing include phishing, malware, password attacks, DoD attacks and exploitation of outdated software. All are preventable through employee training and education.

According to Clutch’s How Large Businesses Approach Cybersecurity in 2017 survey, when larger organizations remember to communicate on compliance and training, they address two central security concerns: the evolving cybersecurity landscape and internal risk.

Here are three easy ways to improve your data protection plan for large to mid-sized businesses:

  • Don’t be sparing with security solutions
  • Monitor your current plan or solution to create future action
  • Invest in the education of your workforce

At LightEdge, we strive to keep you in top working order no matter the size of your company. Finding the right security solution to fit your business needs is our top priority. Our compliance and security experts are a free consulting resource to all our customers. If you’ve been experiencing issues with your current data security solution, we want to talk to you. Get in touch with an expert here.