SMBs Should Take Note of Recent Data Security Failures

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May 6, 2014 2:16:00 PM

SMBs Should Take Note of Recent Data Security Failures

As the average business continues to become more reliant upon digital systems and information, the projects related to protecting these assets must become more robust and comprehensive. Several major data breaches that struck the private and public sectors in the past few months have highlighted just how dangerous a lack of adequate security can be, regardless of the size of the company or the industry it competes within. 

It is not necessarily surprising that these lapses are taking place given the sheer volume and diversity of new tools, gadgets, IT frameworks and trends that are entering into the business at breakneck speeds. Many companies will begin to be submerged by their own technology deployments and provisioning procedures, especially when they do not utilize external resources that are readily available for consumption. 

Small and medium-sized business owners should be especially vigilant in their security programs for cloud services and data storage practices, as studies indicate these firms are often one major information loss event away from closing their doors forever. Additionally, by looking at the major stories related to more wide-scale data breaches that have hit the news in the past few months, entrepreneurs might be able to gain critical insights into the best practices of security. 

Keeping an eye on Target
Contributor Peter High, writing for Forbes, recently listed some of the lessons that he learned - and that business leaders should pay attention to - from the Target security breach that took place toward the end of 2013. The company's chief executive officer recently stepped down from his position amid the turbulence that struck the major retailer in the months following what has been called the biggest single data breach in the history of the world.

According to the contributor, one of the most critical lessons is the importance of creating robust IT security frameworks that cover all assets and vulnerabilities in one holistic resource. To that same end, he suggested companies begin to combine their physical and digital asset protection policies into a more unified strategy that will guide each component of oversight in the long term, thus yielding efficiency gains and other improvements. 

High stated that chief information officers, chief information security officers and other leaders in a given firm's management structure should have authority over the IT protection process, as well as a strong voice in the boardroom. Simply having a leader appointed for handling IT matters and not allowing her or him to lead the relevant discussions is a common error that must be avoided in the future.

Finally, he recommended using the resources that are available externally - such as increased collaboration with other, similar businesses - as this will lead to more intelligent, strategic thinking internally. High went on to assert that the massive complexity of the current IT security arena makes a completely internal and closed-off approach to protection irrelevant and less effective.

The provisioning side of security
Small and medium-sized businesses, at least on the whole, would be less likely to have a big IT department and several executive-level staff members devoted to technology than their larger counterparts. However, the risks and vulnerabilities that can be found among SMBs are often just as dangerous and common as the bigger competitors in each industry. 

Luckily, entrepreneurs can use the solutions of managed service providers to simultaneously capture the power of new computing technology while maintaining effective protection and security frameworks. By leveraging a partnership with a reliable and proven provider of cloud services and relevant security, the business will be better positioned to tackle strategic matters without overlooking the best practices of continuous protection. 

Topics: IT Management