Data security is one of the most important and most often neglected aspects of small business IT. Companies assume that because they are small and have relatively limited financial assets, they can get by with simple data security measures often amounting to little more than anti-virus protection.
It is for this exact reason that hackers are increasingly preying on small businesses. The damage that they can do to your daily operations and financial resources can be devastating. In order to protect yourself from this mounting threat, be sure that your data security plan takes the following factors into account.
You need to spend time running your business, not obsessively checking your computers and servers for updates, patch installations and potential breaches. Remote monitoring and management allows your IT service provider to monitor and maintain your security systems from off-site so that they are always up to date and as strong as possible. That saves you time and worry, plus it ensure that your data security is being overseen by a team of experts who understand the ever evolving challenges of keeping your information safe.
Security in the Cloud
Data storage in the cloud has opened up new opportunities for many small businesses, but it has also created new risks. Any time you or one of your employees store your data off-site, you relinquish a certain amount of control and security. Be sure to vet any cloud storage company before you contract with them. You will want to make sure that they have adequate security measures in place and an established reputation for protecting data. The company that provides you with small business IT support can assist you with this evaluation process.
Security on Mobile Devices
Your IT infrastructure is larger than just your computers and storage devices. Many of your employees have smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices that they use to access your company email and network. These devices are prone to vulnerabilities and could create huge compromises. Simple password protection is not enough to safeguard these devices from today's sophisticated hackers. Be sure that your data security plan provides protections regarding mobile devices.
States across the country are passing laws that mandate how companies store sensitive information including employee records. The penalties for non-compliance can be complicated and costly. Staying within the bounds of the law is a new data security risk that many small businesses are unaware of. Rely on your managed IT service provider to keep you up to date about changing legislation and the most effective ways to prepare for it.
No matter how comprehensive and complete your data security measures are, questions and issues will inevitably arise. That is simply the nature of information security in the 21st century. Being able to turn to a team of professionals with specific experience allows you to resolve threats, vulnerabilities and confusion before they become bigger issues than they need to be. Having a responsive support network to turn to is the safest and most responsible way to manage your data security.
Your small business faces real threats, but luckily there are effective ways to defend against all of them. Being prepared from your first days in business is the best way to avoid unnecessary problems.
To learn more about data security and small businesses, read our white paper “The Ultimate Small Business Guide to Outsourcing IT.”