Data Security for Small & Medium Business

Data Security for Small & Medium Business

What is Data Security?

Data Security is safeguarding your important data from vicious and harsh forces, which result from unwanted and unauthenticated users, resulting in data breaches or cyberattacks.

Fact and stats reveal cyberattacks are increasing and the sector which is the worst hit is small and medium-sized business houses–sadly this news never reaches the publishing headlines or any social media.

Cyber attackers are expert hackers, they know not much effort goes into attacking and collecting data from these small and medium-sized organizations; they attack through the distributed denial of service attacks and phishing scams, and point-of-sale malware. The question that needs an answer is why is this sector the most targeted? The simple answer is these small and medium-sized businesses invest a bare minimum amount to secure their networks, which is not at all secure–this makes it easy for these cyber attackers to pounce on the network system.

Why are you at risk?

It is estimated that three-fourth of the SME’s have next to NIL security protection policies currently and this situation exists because top management focuses on increasing the ROI and bloating the bottom line year on year but hardly invests time and effort to protect the most secure network of your brand which is the backbone of an organization.

These businesses lack funds, technical expertise, and resources to support, ignorance of outsourcing services, and therefore compromise with the security network and central system till such time something grave hits the business hard.

Facts:

Understand where to fill the cracks-Almost all cyber attackers use the internet (web traffic and electronic mail) to access the data, in doing so, they launch phishing attempts through malevolent attachments and vulnerable URL’s to reach the central system, the moment they are successful in setting their foot in the central system; they wait for the chance to blow out the data integration through internal network traffic.

Management must be Revolutionized Gone are the days when traditional security techniques defended the software using firewalls and antivirus as the shield. Unfortunately, this security can hardly recognize the indications of a multi-vector attack. What we want to explain here is that businesses need not be filled with technology experts, but ensure by all means that your network is not left unattended or guarded if you do so, you will remain vulnerable to such attacks every second.

How can your business withstand these unprecedented attacks?

What it is you can do differently? Let’s see some of the effective defense mechanisms that you can implement, and these do not bring negative variances in the financial statements as well.

7 best practices against cyber-attack for business:

  1. Select the right firewall

Tried and tested, the FCC [Federal Communications Commission] suggests all small and medium-sized businesses set up a firewall so they can act as a barricade between cyber attackers and your data, some industries are offering double protection by securing the data with a double internal firewall that provides enhanced protection of your data.  

Looking at the current scenario, where the world is encouraging ‘work from home’, organizations must ensure they direct their associates to install a firewall on their network and exhibit 100% compliance against any data theft or cyberattacks.

  1. Document your cybersecurity policies

Put together your cybersecurity standards and procedures (SOP)Being the easy target, Small and Medium businesses must document all their operating protocols, conduct training through certified cybersecurity providers, and verify the checklists and do’s and don’ts to be followed to safeguard online businesses. Take part in a world webinar that educates cybersecurity practices and policies. Once drafted, share this with an expert for revalidation of each aspect-post his approval set your cyber procedure and security standards in action.

  1. Manage your handset

Every organization must have a set policy of letting their employees use personal headphones while they are in the office, with the growing demand and supply of smartphones, watches, and smart fitness bands–which works through wireless connectivity must have mentioned in the policy booklet. Norton, the market leader for a secured network, recommends SMEs to mention the usage of mobile policy in the employee book- a special section with password norms, sharing of ID, and office network access must be restricted.

  1. Train–train and train

Make its mandate to include the company’s security briefs during orientation and internal department briefs, so it becomes an essential practice at work. Anyone found breaching will incur consequences.

If your organization changes or adds a new norm, ensure it is disseminated to all. Make each employee sign the accountable sheet; this is to make them understand how important it is to adhere to security norms while at work and also working from home

  1. Impose no sharing password policies

Educate your employees on the standard operating procedure for using a password, since they will access the company’s network, practicing these policies is a must. Ask your IT or administrator to explain the limitations and accessing norms. Top cyber experts recommend that associates and employees must make a practice to change their passwords once in 90 days to ensure security is not compromised.

  1. Maintain a proper backup system

No matter how hard you try to secure your data, there is still a huge possibility of being breached or cyber-attacked, hence keeping back-up of databases, financial figures, reports, forecasts vs actual, resource databases, and much more confidential data is crucial. To surge your security a notch higher-save them on the cloud, ensure they are stored in a different location. Ensure you check your data regularly to be sure of backend backup updating.

  1. Installing anti-malware a MUST

Even if you instruct your employees in the organization to avoid opening phishing mails-it practically becomes difficult since they do not come with a tag attached. Since the phishing attacks involve installing malware on the system/computers accessing the network–these systems must have anti-malware installed.

Keep in mind the three key elements of data security–CRA

[Confidentiality, Reliability, Accessibility] Each of these holds a great deal of sensitivity towards data protection.

  • Confidentiality–Only allows an authorized individual to access the data source
  • Reliability–Ensure the information is shared with the right resource and accurately
  • Accessibility–The data is accessible to only those who hold great responsibility for your business and are decision-makers.

How to Implement Data-Security Principles?

From a data security standpoint, principles that organizations must adhere to:

  • Systematic Tracking of essential data that is stored by the organization.
  • Ensure data is accessible and produced as and when required by higher authorities [Director, MD…]
  • Ensure complete adherence to financial auditing and data processing procedures.

Technologies used to keep data secured in an organization [DAMAAR]

Below mentioned are the 6 key technologies used to keep your data secured and processed

  • Auditing
  • Action to Real-time data
  • Data Real-Time Alerts
  • Ad hoc Risk Assessment
  • Minimization of Data
  • Remove Decayed Data

Try to identify critical attack–How?

The two most vulnerable paths used by cyber attackers to get into the internal system and network are email and the web.

Solution: Build enhanced network security, it can provide a strong roadblock for these attempts.

Respond mechanism to be hastenedHow?

Attackers search for unguarded and isolated network or email activity.

Solution: Security team monitors the email traffic 24×7 and looks for alerts and unrecognized situations–As they are well protected and guarded by a double firewall, they prioritize alerts and respond effectively.

Extend hand for Security allocationHow?

Without an anti-spam, firewall, anti-malware various combinations of attacks can breach our network

Solution: Investing in important security software and hardware can wade off these attacks and keep the system attack-free. Technical experts at source build a strong interface that further reduces load and keeps the central network safe at all given hours.

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