Businesses that fail to take the steps necessary to protect their data, information and digital infrastructure are far more likely to suffer a data breach. A breach has the potential to do lasting harm and may even place the very survival of a business at risk. Organizations would do well to seek out any resources that may allow them to benefit from enhanced levels of security. A few tips are often all that may be required to ensure small businesses are able to take the appropriate precautions in order to better protect themselves and their data.
Consequences of a Data Breach
There are numerous potential ramifications of a data breach. While some consequences may be no more than a minor nuisance, there are plenty of others that may be truly catastrophic in scope. Any breach has the potential to do irreparable harm to a business’s brand, reputation or its customer and client relationships. The relatively minor financial costs needed to beef up security as well as the time and effort that may be involved may provide a far greater return of investment than many organizations would expect. Preventing a breach is often much easier and more cost-effective than dealing the consequences of one that has already occurred.
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There are always weak points within the network and new ventures or small businesses that may be in process of expanding or establishing their infrastructure may often find themselves at greater risk. Security applications that can automatically scan for potential security threats and software that is designed to monitor network traffic and data flow are often key resources. Small businesses may even benefit by hiring a full-time IT specialist or contracting with an off-site service provider in order to ensure that any underlying vulnerabilities within their digital infrastructure are able to be identified and addressed.
Even the most secure digital networks may be compromised due to human error. It’s important to ensure that all staff, associates and employees are provided with the level of training and education needed to avoid any unsafe habits or risky behaviors. Sloppy password habits or downloading files and attachments from an unknown source has the potential to place a business’s entire network at risk. Taking steps to address any user habits that may constitute a potential security risk is an essential concern for any organization seeking to minimize the risk of a breach or cyber attack.
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Few small businesses possess the skills, talent and know-how needed to deal with every potential threat. Working with an information technology staffing agency or contracting with a specialized IT service provider can allow businesses that may lack the funds and other resources needed to maintain an in-house IT specialist or department with a wider range of options and solutions. From knowing which equipment or software resources may be required in order to improve security to ensuring that all applications and systems have been properly configured and maintained, the full range of skills that only a trained professional can bring to the table can often be a valuable asset.
Identifying Emerging Security Threats
The rapid pace of technological advancement that continues to provide businesses with access to an ever-expanding range of resources has also created countless new security threats that businesses may need to address. Failing to keep an eye out for the latest cybersecurity threats is a common misstep, one that can turn businesses into a much easier target. Keeping pace with the latest trends to hit the digital security industry and doing all they can to learn more about any potential threats as well as the resources and solutions that can make the biggest difference is always a smart move.
As small businesses work to protect their company from security breaches and cyber hacks, they can feel more confident in their jobs and in moving the business forward. Having the right equipment and software, training employees, and staying ahead on emerging security threats and trends will allow any business to succeed while keeping their data safe and secure.
(This blog post originally appeared on The State of Security by Tripwire).