Why Small Businesses Should Protect Employee Personal Information

Shield protecting personal information

While corporate executives have picked up practical tips on how their company can secure and protect the personal information it keeps, leaders of small businesses and organizations have to do more to protect the personal information of their employees.

But some business owners may still be wondering why data security should be at the top of their agenda. Two reasons show why your company should strive to safeguard personal information.

First, good security is just plain good business. Aware of the risk of identity theft, today’s customers are concerned about their privacy.

As any business that has experienced a breach, and the theft of personal information has learned, customers prefer companies that demonstrate a commitment to security.

For the same reasons, customers will think twice before doing business with a company that has experienced a privacy breach. Given this choice, many businesses find it more cost-effective to secure the information they have rather than try to repair the damage and rebuild consumer confidence after a data loss or breach. (more…)

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The Challenges of Data Leakage Prevention for Small Businesses

Hard drive with technicians trying to stop data leakage

With the rapid advances in technology and the attendant interconnected nature of computer systems, many business owners are becoming increasingly aware of the dire need to control the flow of information into, through and out of their enterprises, and challenges of trying to prevent data leakage.

For years, the focus of the business owner was on how to stop viruses, spam, network intrusions etc. Now the new threat is massive data leakage. This new threat affects all kinds of businesses large and small. According to a recent International Data Corporation (IDC) report, over 80 percent of respondents to a survey acknowledged that the fear of data loss and leakage was one of the biggest challenges facing their establishments. Of these, over 50 percent admitted that they were already victims of data leakage incidents. (more…)

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Phishing And Spam Emails Are Dangerous For Small Businesses

Cyber criminal using a phishing hook on endpoints

Email is critical to an organization. Phishing provides a way for cyber criminals to use email as a disguise to try to sneak by and steal business data.

There are only so many ways to break into a bank. You can march through the door. You can climb through a window. You can tunnel through the floor.

There is the service entrance, the employee entrance, and access on the roof.

Criminals who want to rob a bank will probably use an open route – such as a side door. It’s easier than breaking down a wall.

Cyber criminals who want to break into your computer network face a similar challenge. They need to enter. They can look for a weakness in your network – maybe a vulnerability in your server – but it’s easier for them to use an open route. Email is one of their favorites.

Email is a door into your computer network. Data passes through it every day. If criminals want to break in, some will throw on a disguise and try to sneak by.

By pretending to be someone else, such as someone you respect, they will try to earn enough of your trust to steal from you.

This is called phishing. (more…)

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The Business Case for EndPoint Security in Small Organizations

According to BAE Systems, almost 50 percent of small businesses have experienced a cyber attack, and as much as 60 percent of hacked small- and medium-sized businesses go out of business after six months. By deploying endpoint security solutions, most cyber attack attempts can be prevented.

Devices and services protected by endpoint security solutions

Faced with limited IT personnel and budget, small business environment usually end up with non-standard computer configurations, inadequate or non-existent security policies, old equipment etc.

The impact of the failure of an endpoint on business processes can be a little scary sometimes. A good example is a call I got from a friend the other day. The boss’s computer had a couple of viruses and they had to disconnect the computer from the network.

Of course that meant business had to come to a halt because everything was on the boss’s computer. There were no anti-virus software on any of the workstations and of course no firewall of any kind, so it was free for all. (more…)

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Why Your Small Business Or Organization Needs An Email Policy

Mail envelope containing a documenton on a computer screen.

Email is an important and necessary part of your business or organization. It provides an economical and instant means of communicating with staff, customers, and vendors – that’s both simple to use and enables increased efficiency. An email policy is required to protect this necessary business tool.

An email policy is a legal document that details your organization’s definition of acceptable use for the company email system. It should indicate who emails can be received from or sent to, as well as outline what constitutes appropriate content for work emails.

In addition, having an email policy will:

  • Protect the Organization from Liabilities:

When all employees read and sign an email policy, it proves they are aware and agree to the information contained in that policy. Should an email be sent that is not considered appropriate content according to the email policy, the employee, not the organization, would bear the brunt of liability for any damages or suits brought as a result of their sending an inappropriate email. (more…)

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Provide Critical Data Security Using Locks

Provide Critical Data Security Using Old Fashioned Locks

Sometimes the key to data security is an old-fashioned lock. Here’s some  advice on protecting your customers and employees by securing sensitive data. One important tip: Lock it — Protect the information that you keep.

  1. Lock, stock — or peril. Computer defenses can be critical, but when it comes to protecting personal information, don’t forget “old school” physical security, too.
    Discourage light-fingered passersby by making sure every employee has a secure drawer or locker.
    Centralize sensitive paperwork and limit access to employees with a legitimate business need.
    Remind them not to leave documents out when they step away from their desks.
    Shipping data offsite? Consider encrypting it and using a mailing method that will allow you to track the package en route. (more…)
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