Data breaches grace the headlines at least once a week these days. Companies whose sensitive information has been compromised by unauthorized parties on a massive scale. Many of them suffering from irreparable financial and reputation damage.
Small businesses are no exception
While smaller companies may not make the headlines when data breaches occur, the damage to the company can be extremely cumbersome. Problems can start with vulnerable networks and systems or even poor physical security.
Small businesses often do not invest enough in protection. This leads to neglect of several critical areas:
Physical security – Ensuring that the premises and especially critical assets, like servers, routers, switches and firewalls, are physically secure and only authorized parties may access them.
Human security – The practice of ensuring owners and employees understand how to ensure sensitive information is compartmentalized and never disclosed unnecessarily.
Network security – Preventing unauthorized access to network components by ensuring they are configured to prevent vulnerabilities, kept up to date and monitored for intrusion attempts.
Computer security – Acting proactively to protect systems from attacks by having up to date anti-virus software, security updates and other security measures.
What happens when a malicious hacker gets in?
Once an unauthorized party gains access to internal resources there could be disclosure of customer records, financial information, trade secrets and passwords.
This information may be auctioned off to the highest bidder(s) or simply dumped in the public domain for other malicious hackers to examine.
In other situations information may be held for ransom by hackers utilizing encryption to seize control of data and its backups.
The time and money it takes to repair such damage may exceed a business’ ability to sustain itself.
Take action and prevent future cybersecurity incidents
We live in an Internet-centric world where information must be guarded carefully. Every small business should think of cybersecurity as a cornerstone of their business plan.
It’s far less expensive to hire a professional to protect your business from malicious hackers than it is to respond when a breach happens.
Consider having a cybersecurity audit and securing your small business from security threats. Audits identify threats, existing hacks, malware and other vulnerabilities. This helps to provide detailed information on how to secure a small business and assess any ongoing attacks.
About the author
Alexander G. Chamandy is a seasoned information technology professional with more than two decades of experience in the industry. He is a managing member of Envescent, LLC, a business IT solutions provider serving the Washington, DC area.