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October 05, 2017

Risky Business: Small to Medium Businesses Need Security Too!

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Written by Mika Cohen

In our recent post, What is "IT" for Small to Medium Business Security?, we discussed the biggest security risk for any business - the people. What about the growing list of vulnerabilities that come hand-in-hand with all of our fancy new technologies?

It seems like the moment you buy your new iPhone there’s a new model out before you leave the store. Technology is changing faster than ever, and for every advance we make, there’s a new threat, a new challenge. Even IT professionals have a hard time keeping up!

Small-to-Medium-Business-Security 

So, how do you make sure that your small to medium business is in control of your financials, your customer information, and all of your other business data? How do you stay on top of security with such a fast changing environment?

Does your IT team know what the latest and greatest threats are? Better yet, do you? Do you need to spend more, or could you scale back? And what’s with all of these buzzwords? We’re here to help you understand what is really going on in the IT world that affects you at every level of your business.

Cybersecurity is an all-encompassing term that refers to the practice of protecting networked technology from malicious activity. In the business space, this means safeguarding your computers, servers, data, and overall network from unauthorized access, theft, and destruction. It starts with basic virus protection and scales to full blown, security operations centers where your business technology is fully monitored by security professionals. There are several key areas that every business should take into account when choosing how to properly protect their data.

 

Data Security

From doomsday scenarios to accidental data destruction. These are the catastrophic events that can flip everything upside down in an instant. Fires, floods, physical damage to hardware, Ransomware. What would you do if every customer record simply disappeared? How would your business continue to function if worst comes to worst?

You insure your car, your life, your health – it’s time to start thinking about your data in the same way. Technology companies are continuing to add backup and recovery options to their portfolios to ensure that their clients can continue serving their customers - even when the unpredictable happens. Doomsday scenarios don’t happen to everyone, but major data loss will affect 1 out of 5 small to medium sized businesses every 5 yearsHaving the right technology and a well thought out plan in place could save everything you’ve ever worked for.

Ransomware attacks are on the rise and show no sign of slowing. Your data may not be of value to the hackers, but they know it’s of value to YOU. Therefore, they can demand payment for the release of your files and there’s not a whole lot you can do after they’ve locked you out. Thoroughly securing your data could save your business hundreds, thousands, and even hundreds of thousands of dollars... Not to mention your hard earned reputation.

 

Network Security

If Equifax can be breached on such a massive scale, then it’s time we all started taking cybersecurity seriously. If you own or operate a business, you are well versed in the value of information and cyber criminals are constantly devising new ways to gain access to yours.

Yes, you are a target, too. Your network is what connects your business systems and, more often than not, connects them to the outside world. If your network allows you to communicate with your systems, then a cyber criminal that weasels their way into your network can, too.

 

Application Security

Apps, apps everywhere! First it was computer apps, then along came phone apps, now there are apps on your copiers, watches, and maybe even your fridge. Every app is an access point, a way to transmit data and complete critical business functions. They add a ton of convenience and save time, but what are you doing to make sure your apps are not gateways for security breaches? Info leaks? Lions, tigers, and bears, oh my! Apps aren’t inherently dangerous, but making sure they are secure is a critical step in shutting down any outside attacks on your business.

 

What's next?

Each month, we will be educating you on the ins and outs, the good the bad and the ugly, of cyber security. What topic are you most interested in taking a deeper dive? Vote on the poll below to help us determine what to blog about next!

Have you experienced a cyber-attack and would like to share how it happened? We could learn from your personal experience, and so could our readers. Drop us a line below and let us know what happened and how you handled it.