It’s 2 A.M. Do you know where your data is?

Whenever I leave home, I always double check that I’ve locked all my doors and windows and, if I’m going to be home after dark, that some lights will be on when I return. I’ve even gone to the effort of installing timers, so that certain lights turn on and off at appropriate times. The last thing I want is a break-in, especially considering that I might lose the personal data that’s stored on my electronic devices.

What would be the worst thing your company could lose?   Many small and midsize businesses (SMBs) put security at the bottom of their list.  Here are some good reasons your organization needs to be more proactive when it comes to securing your intellectual property and sensitive proprietary data:

  • SMBs are facing a significant increase in cyber-attacks.  87% of small businesses had a security breach in the last year (up from 76% a year ago). [2]
  • Security breaches are costly.  According to a recent survey, “the average loss resulting from IT security incidents for mid-sized companies came in at roughly $50,000, of which approximately $36,000 is accounted for by the incident itself, while the remaining $14,000 comes from other associated expenditures." [3]
  • The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend is adding new security challenges.  A recent article in SmallBusinessComputing.com states that “personal mobile devices rank among the greatest security threats your company faces” and adds that “several studies show that data breeches come more commonly from internal sources, .e.g., your employees, than from outside sources.”

In the event of a security breach, your company also stands to take a hit to its revenue, its productivity and, perhaps most insidious, its reputation.

According to a recent news item, thieves are taking advantage of the typically minimal security measures of small and midsize businesses, including those of technology startups: “Once they identify intellectual property worth stealing, the actual operation is often easy, given that the typical startup faces budget limitations and prioritizes Nerf guns, food deliveries and all-hours access to the office over robust security." [4]

Securing the weakest link

Most people think of cyber security when discussing data theft, but the very real chance of a physical break-in exists. A friend of mine who works at a small consultancy that lacks the resources for a 24-hour surveillance system told me her building was broken into over the weekend. Among the items the thieves targeted were mobile devices such as laptops and tablets. While many thefts are purely opportunistic, others involve intricate planning, especially those concerning intellectual property.

Consider too that your network is only as secure as its weakest link. If your employees transfer company data to their mobile devices, you need to be sure you can clear all that data in the event those devices are stolen. It also makes sense to put in place a detailed security policy and educate your workforce about that policy, so that they understand the security implications of introducing personal devices to the company network.

Take a proactive approach to security

According to a study by AMI-Partners[5], 44% of small businesses and 54% of midsize U.S. businesses have suffered data security breaches in the last year, costing almost $9 billion.  With the increased risk introduced by the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend and the proliferation of company-owned mobile devices, SMBs need to take a proactive approach to security.

The security of your business is important to us. Partner with us to help safeguard all your hard work—and your future innovations. Explore our range of Just Right IT networking solutions to help you build, maintain and expand a secure network infrastructure.

 

Learn more about securing your organization in this blog from Lisa Wolfe.

 

[1] and [5}2013 Information Security Breaches Survey, Department for Business Innovation & Skills, United Kingdom
[2] 2013 Global Corporate IT Security Risks Survey, B2B International and Kapersky Labs
[3] 2013 Information Security Breaches Survey, Department for Business Innovation & Skills, United Kingdom
[4] 2013 Global Corporate IT Security Risks Survey, B2B International and Kapersky Labs

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