Security Protocols for Small Business

December 15, 2015 11:36 am Published by

2015 was not a good year for IT security.  It seems like every other day there were announcements of how many files were breached at major corporations who supposedly were safeguarded by top notch security systems.  These included companies like Anthem Health Insurance, the infamous Ashley Madison, and chain stores like Target and CVS.

If you own a small business, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security.  This could happen to your small business too.  These breaches are NOT just happening at large corporations, they are happening down the street and right in your own neighborhood.  In the first half of 2015 the number of records breached was just under 246 million across 888 disclosed incidents (the true number is much higher), with mega-breaches accounting for 82 percent of the records compromised.(Source: Tech World)

What are some steps that your small business can and should make to avoid being a victim of the millions of security breaches next year?  Here are some tips for securing your company from Tech World, Self Growth and Tech Radar.

  • Have a Security Strategy – Small businesses should have a strategy mapped out which includes:  determining the assets which need protecting, assessing how immediate the threat is to your business, and who needs access to certain information within the company.
  • Educate Employees – Many breaches can be due to an innocent mistake or lack of understanding of how breaches can occur.  Employees should be educated about what steps they need to keep their devices safe when they are accessing work files remotely as well as recognize phishing, social engineering attacks, rogue emails; and told to avoid clicking on unfamiliar links.
  • Manage Your Mobile – Small businesses and businesses that operate in numerous locations have more tech to keep safe such as tablets, laptops, and smartphones.  Companies can deploy mobile device management (MDM) solutions that separate work from personal data on your portable hardware, as well as allowing the device to be wiped if it’s lost or stolen. Look into who uses mobile devices and are they protected.
  • Manage Paperwork – Dispose of hard copies of client information properly since critical information may make hacking easier if it gets into the wrong hands.
  • Update Malware and Security Systems Regularly – Hackers are getting smarter and are coming up with better and faster ways to breach information.  Follow updates on your technology so that the best and latest versions of security are on your computers – including mobile devices .
  • Encrypt your data – Stored data, filesystems, and across-the-wire transfers all need to be encrypted. Encryption is essential to protecting sensitive data and to help prevent data loss due to theft or equipment loss.(Source: ZD Net)

 

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