3 Data Security Tips for Small Businesses
You put everything into your small business -- time, energy, love, and money -- so it's important to keep it secure. Threats come in all forms and sizes and they can end up costing you everything you worked for if you are not careful.
With businesses increasingly reliant on electronic tools, you cannot afford to be ignorant of or indifferent to issues like data breaches and hacker attacks. Here is some guidance from security experts who spoke to Entrepreneur about how small businesses in particular can protect their operations.
Unless you can devote yourself solely to security issues, you are probably not going to be able to keep ahead of developments. But figuring out what is relevant, say security experts, will help the small business person.
- Eyes on the industry: If everyone or many businesses in your industry use the same software system, keep an eye on the biggest guys and their security issues. According to Courtney Thompson, Chief Technology Officer of Green House Data, you can assess the risk to your system by looking at what is happening with the big players in the industry. If a major player is a target for hackers and you use the same software as that player, then you too are at risk and should be working on looking for alternatives.
- Connectivity is critical but risky: Your business is networked and you have a team of people in different places who can all access your data. That is great for efficiency and getting things done but it also means that risk moves across your system. You must be aware of who has information and access in your company, know where the information is stored, and do what you can to protect that information. Anna Frazzetto, Chief Digital Technology Officer at IT recruiting firm Harvey Nash, advises keeping up with trends in data management and monitoring to ensure the safety of your system.
- BYOD threatens the party: You've heard of BYOB, which means Bring Your Own Booze, but do you know about BYOD? The acronym stands for Bring Your Own Device, sometimes also called BYOT or Bring Your Own Tech. Workers do it all the time and it's a major threat to network security. Rick Orloff, a Chief Security Officer of Code 42, a data protection company, says that all businesses, whatever size, should be focusing on their porous networks, meaning devices that individuals use for business and personal reasons, like smart phones. Orloff notes that security should center on the way users really work, acknowledging outside tech and devices and setting up a system to keep your insider data safe.
Talk to a Lawyer
If you are concerned about data security or any other aspect of business operations, speak to a lawyer. An attorney can provide you with guidance and make sure your small business complies with all legal requirements. Get help.
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