Even if you own a small business, your computer network system, online accounts and even your website are targets for hackers and other cyber criminals who can compromise your business’s cybersecurity or carry out a cyberattack against you. Reports show that nearly half of all cyberattacks in 2016 targeted the world’s small businesses. Consequently, being a “small business” doesn’t protect you from being an easy target if you have inadequate cybersecurity protection covering all aspects of your business’s computers, network and electronic presence.
The goal of implementing a real security plan and using security tools is to protect your business’s computers, data storage devices, computer network, and server—including any cloud-based technologies you use – from hackers out to steal your information. Failure to protect any one area can lead to devastating consequences for your business.
In today’s cyber world, it’s not enough for a business to invest in a security package that includes only antivirus and anti-spyware, and a firewall to monitor incoming and outgoing data activity in your business’s on-site computer network. You also need security measures in place to protect laptops, mobile and wireless devices, and your online and web platforms you use to operate your business.
Wireless security involves many of the same methods, such as encryption and authentication, you use to protect your computer hardware, software programs, and data storage. However, depending on the sensitivity of the information you transfer, wireless networks and applications often require additional levels of security. Otherwise, unauthorized users can monitor or intercept your data, and without the proper data-security measures in place, hackers can launch cyberattacks that lead to data breaches.
Even if you use only certain types of cloud technologies alongside your local network, servers and/or computers to manage information technology (IT) for your business, you need security controls to protect your data. Security in the cloud generally includes data encryption services and two-factor user authentication to help minimize the risk of cyber threats and data loss.
While implementing encryption helps protect sensitive data from being intercepted, the added measure of requiring 2-factor (2FA), also known as multi-factor authentication (MFA) along with a password to verify a login makes it harder for hackers to get in.
Data masking is another method for safeguarding your business data on the cloud. The removal of all identifiable characteristics makes the data anonymous, which helps protect the privacy of your business records.
Online Data Backup and Recovery
Automated backups and speed of disaster recovery are additional IT management and security factors for any business to consider. Although you can store data on external hard drives or flash drives, since data is backed up on a remote server at a location off site, online backup protects against data loss due to fire, flooding, theft, or hacking.
If an IT failure happens because of human error, malware, or hacking, disaster recovery minimizes both data loss and downtime, and it brings your business back online fast. The speed of recovery is essential because unless data is restored quickly, the failure of even a single business application that results in lost, corrupted, or stolen data costs your business money. The cost climbs higher if you lose large amounts of electronic data or remain offline for a prolonged period of time.
Data Loss Prevention
Data loss prevention (DLP)—sometimes referred to as data leak prevention—tools offer another strategy for monitoring computer activity and protecting digital data from being transmitted outside of your business’s computer network. Software products are available that help control what data an employee can transfer, especially if he or she is unauthorized to share that particular information.
The purpose of DLP tools is to assure more secure handling of critical business information and prevent sensitive data from being routed to an unauthorized remote location. DLP products also protect data stored on files or databases located on servers, portable digital devices, or a SAN (storage area network) such as a disk-based device or tape library.
Besides protecting your business’s confidential information from outside threats, DLP products help protect against accidental disclosure of information from the inside. Depending on the nature of your business and the computer technologies you use, you may also need mobile and cloud-based technologies you use protected from cyberattacks like ransomware.
Data Security Services
In managing cyberattacks, it’s important to identify your critical risks and vulnerabilities and have the ability to respond quickly to an attack. If your business suffers a cyberattack, the next step is to identify how the breach happened, put security measures in place to lock down the exposed area so it cannot re-occur and take steps to recover from the losses that have occurred. After any breach, your business should follow an appropriate incident response plan and update your policies, procedures and technologies to prevent such an attack from happening again.
In addition to implementing security protocols, a data security firm can detect malware threats, filter data for validity or to limit broader access to your business records, and spot an IT failure at your business location. If a problem occurs, the data security firm can hold data until your system is restored.
Small businesses face the same cyber threats as their larger business competitors. But on the more positive side, the professional team of CyberGuard360 can guide you in protecting your small business from a broad range of online threats.