September 03, 2015

It’s surprising to us given the current climate surrounding data security that more small businesses don’t take it seriously enough.  So many businesses – and their users – rely on lax protocols to guard their most sensitive information.  Yes, we’ve written about password protection and cloud-based back up services, but data security is much more than that.

One of the most erroneous assumptions you can make is that no one really cares about your data.  Don’t think because the media doesn’t cover the smaller breaches that they aren’t happening with growing frequency.  Sophisticated hackers around the world are using smaller companies as gateways to steal from much larger companies, stealing the smaller companies’ data along the way.  While you needn’t be paranoid, you must be cognizant of the fact that you may eventually be a target.  Act accordingly.

There are also those hackers who are just looking to have their malware propagate through unsuspecting users.  A great many of us have experienced that sinking feeling when “something funny” happens to your machine after clicking an email link or attachment.  By the time you run a malware scan or other security protocol, the bad stuff has already been spread from you to everyone in your address book or on your network.  Time to hide in shame.

Businesses must now focus attention and resources on data security.  Where once you purchased an over-the-counter remedy, today’s reality demands something a more seasoned.  You must also pay attention to your users.  They have become your weakest link, so like any good parent, teach them well.  Establish rules governing the use of email, social media, the Internet in general.  Develop procedures for the storing and sending of data.  Any make them aware of how to spot and report potential trouble.

Many will see this as just another annoying repercussion of our growing dependency on technology.  We understand.  But unless you have a better – practical – solution, this is where things stand now.  So adapt and put some effort behind you security.