Data Security for Small & Medium Business
Data Security for Small & Medium Business
What Data security means?
The process of safeguarding your important data from vicious and harsh forces, which are the result of unwanted and unauthenticated users, resulting in data breach or cyberattacks.
Fact and stats reveal cyberattacks are increasing dramatically and the sector which is worst hit is small & 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 clear 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 resource 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.
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, these security is hardly able to recognize the indications of a multi-vector attack. What we want to explain here is ‘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 is it that you can do differently? Let’s see some of the effective defense mechanism that you can implement and these does 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, FCC [Federal Communication 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 of the 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 cyber-attacks.
2. 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. Participate in a world webinar which educates cybersecurity practices and policies. Once drafted, share this with an expert for revalidations of each aspect-post his approval set your cyber procedure and security standards in action.
3. Manage your handset
Every organization must have a set policy of letting their employees use personal handphones whilst 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.
4. Train –train and train
Make its mandate to include the company’s best practices for security briefed 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, make sure 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 whole working from home
5. Impose no sharing password policies
Educate your employees on the standard operating procedure for using a password, since they will be accessing 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.
6. Maintain a proper backup system
No matter how hard you try to secure your data, there is still a huge possibility to be breached or cyber-attacked, hence keeping back-up of databases, financial figures, reports, forecasts vs actual, resource database, and much more confidential data is extremely important. To surge your security a notch high-save them on the cloud, ensure they are stored in a different location. Make sure you check your data regularly to be sure of backend back up updations.
7. 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 this holds a great deal of sensitivity towards data protection.
- Confidentiality – Only allow authorized individual to access the data source
- Reliability- Do make sure the information is shared with the right resource and accurately
- Accessibility – The data is accessible to only those who holds great responsibility for your business and is a decision-maker
- From a data security standpoint, principles that organizations must adhere
- How to Implement Data-Security Principles:
Systematic Tracking of essential data the organization stores
- 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.
- Action to Real-time data
- Data Real-Time Alerts
- Adhoc Risk Assessment
- Minimization of Data
- Remove Decayed Data