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Protecting your small business’ information security

Many business owners struggle with information security because they lack an understanding of the threats that exist in today’s world. Sophisticated hackers are exploiting the limited resources of small business owners by targeting their vulnerable networks to steal precious intellectual property.

Unfortunately, a data breach committed by a hacker can result in millions of dollars in losses. Many small businesses have been forced to close due to poor information security practices. Therefore, it is critical for small business owners to understand how to protect their valuable assets from information security threats.

1. Importance of Protecting Data

Many businesses are founded on intellectual property that gives them a competitive advantage in the marketplace. A business may have invented a new way of doing something or could have proprietary strategies that are used to maintain an advantage over rivals in the industry. Most importantly, some businesses may be responsible for protecting confidential information owned by their customers and suppliers. Unfortunately, businesses with sensitive information could be subject to lawsuits or the loss of key accounts if information is stolen. Businesses of all sizes must devise strategies to protect sensitive information. Read our post on data recovery here.

2. Growth of Data Breaches

The potential impact of data threats continues to grow in today’s world. In the early days of the Internet, data breaches were relatively rare, and small business owners seldom had to worry about data security. However, the widespread proliferation of Internet technologies has made computers, servers, and networks essential components of every business. Hackers now have more to gain through their nefarious activities due to the growing amount of economic activity transacted through electronic means.

3. Types of Threats

In the modern world, viruses, spyware, and Trojan horses are only the tip of the iceberg. Hackers now develop sophisticated data breaching software that is tailored to the specific vulnerabilities of a network. Data breaches can now use hundreds of network vulnerabilities to break into business systems and steal valuable information. There are also underground marketplaces where hackers can sell stolen goods. The increased sophistication of data breaches means that businesses now have to work harder than ever to protect their sensitive information from the outside world.

4. Solutions are Available

Many business owners feel powerless to protect themselves from data threats because they have read stories about sophisticated hackers breaking into advanced government databases and Fortune 500 companies. It may seem impossible for the relatively scarce resources available at the disposal of small business owners to offer protection in this environment of risk. However, there are solutions available that can provide basic protection against almost all realistic threats to an internal data system. Business owners can also use services that pool the resources of other small and medium-size businesses to enjoy the same type of protections provided to large corporations.

5. Internal practices

The majority of network security breaches utilise the assistance of internal agents. Some data systems can even be harmed by disgruntled employees who might want to get revenge for a perceived wrong. Therefore, it is important for businesses to implement internal practices that protect their systems from internal threats. Businesses should make sure that they have a minimal number of system administrators to reduce the chances of a dissatisfied individual stealing company information. Passwords should regularly be changed to prevent unauthorised access. It is also a good idea to review lists of administrators on a routine basis to limit the rights of individuals who no longer need access to a system.

6. Penetration Testing

It can be difficult to protect a network from outside threats. In many cases, businesses may need to utilise penetration testing to ensure the integrity of their network. A penetration test attempts to break into the system for the sake of discovering potential vulnerabilities. A business can also utilise a network penetration test to find outdated software and hardware that might need to be replaced. A penetration test can protect businesses from the vast majority of security vulnerabilities. While no network is perfectly safe, a network penetration test can help business owners feel more confident about the integrity of their data. You can learn more about penetration testing at Sydney firm Sense of Security’s website.

7. Implementing Security Countermeasures

Most networks offer almost no protection against even the most common security vulnerabilities. Unfortunately, this means that the vast majority of business owners are vulnerable to data breaches that could destroy the enterprise that they have built. Small and medium-size businesses should consider conducting a penetration test to discover vulnerabilities that need to be fixed. Internal practices should also be implemented to prevent disgruntled employees from stealing information. The successful implementation of rigid network security can ensure the sustainability of an enterprise for years to come.

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