Cyber Security Tips for Small and Medium Business (SMB)
By Priya Sajeeth
Keeping business data safe is the number one concern of business nowadays. Due to the
rising security breaches on several companies, data security against unwanted intrusion is
on everyone's mind. No matter big or small, IT security is the biggest challenges organizations
face. When it comes to small or medium enterprise the impact of security threat is even more
severe. Cyber criminals love to target small business largely due to the fact that SMBs cannot
afford to implement strong security protocols.
Nothing can be hundred percentage safe, but at the same time SMEs can advance the protection
environment by acquiring a strong understanding of their external web presence and ensuring
it is secure by undertaking penetration testing and minimizing exposure by taking action such
as regularly updating security patches.
What is a Data breach and how does it happen?
Data breach is an incident in which sensitive, protected or confidential data has potentially
been viewed, stolen or used by an individual unauthorized to do so. The most common concept
of a data breach is an attacker hacking into a network to steal sensitive data. A number of
industry guidelines and government compliance regulations mandate strict governance of sensitive
or personal data to avoid data breaches.
It is a scenario where your company or organizations' data is stolen. When we check into the
company folder and find all information is gone, client files, logs, billing information have
all been compromised. Then it is clear that your business is becoming a victim of a data breach cyber-attack.
Most common causes of data breaches
Protecting sensitive data is critical to the lifeline of an enterprise. What can be the
most common causes of data breaches?
• Physical loss or theft of devices is one of the most common causes of data breaches:
This is arguably the most straightforward of the common causes of data breaches. However, there
are many different ways that this can occur. It could be that anyone of your laptop, external
hard drive, or flash drive has been damaged, stolen, or misplaced.
• Internal threats like accidental breach (employee error) or intentional breach (employee
misuse): This can occur when employees handling delicate data not clearly understanding security
protocols and procedures. Data breach can also occur from a mental error, when an employee
sends documents to a wrong recipient.
• Weak security controls are often top concerns for protecting an organization's data:
Incorrectly managing access to applications and different types of data can result in employees
being able to view and transport information they don't need to do their jobs. Weak or stolen
password has been yet another main concern. When devices such as laptops, tablets, cell phones,
computers and email systems are protected with weak passwords, hackers can easily break into
the system. This exposes subscription information, personal and financial information, as well
as sensitive business data.
• Operating system and application vulnerabilities: Having outdated software or web browsers
is a serious security concern.
Tips to prevent Cyber threat
Amid the chaos and the hype, it can be difficult to get clear, accurate information about
what's really going on when a data breach occurs. While data breaches are certainly a complex
issue, equipping yourself with basic knowledge of them can help you to navigate the news, to
handle the aftermath, and to secure your data as best as you can. The increasing frequency
and magnitude of data breaches is a clear sign that organizations need to prioritize the security
of personal data.
Latest developments like embracing cloud, deploying BYOD etc. enhances the risk of cyber
threat. Employee ignorance is also one of the major concerns. Hackers are well aware of these
vulnerabilities and are organizing themselves to exploit. There is no need to panic, especially
if you are a small business, but it is imperative to take a decision. Make yourself difficult
to target and keep your business secure with these top 5 tips.