How to protect your small business data

There is no question that big data and advanced analytics have become essential components for efficiently managing your small business. The data can be crucial to a number of your business operations, not to mention can really improve the effectiveness of your overall business plan. However small businesses are also at risk of big data breaches, according to a recent study. The survey conducted by the Ponemon Institute noted that more than half of U.S. small businesses surveyed had experienced at least one type of data breach, many of them involving electronic records.

“Smaller companies are targeted by data thieves, but they often don’t know how to respond when sensitive information they keep on customers and employees is lost or stolen,” said Eric Cernak, vice president for Hartford Steam Boiler. “Failing to act in a timely and effective way can harm the reputation of businesses and even risk legal penalties in many states.”

Here are some tips on how to effectively safeguard your small business’ data from outside breaches.

Automate your back-ups and consider building in redundancy
Ever since people started working on computers, they have always been reminded to always save their work. Automated back-up systems work in the same way, ensuring that no matter what happens, there will always be additional copies of the files and data you need somewhere. The United States Small Business Administration recommends backing up with a third party or off-site service. Cloud back-up services are especially useful for small businesses due to their customizable qualities and the fact that they can be scaled up or down to whatever size and services the small business needs.

Enable remote wipe on all mobile devices
One inescapable fact about the modern day employee is that he or she will have their own mobile devices that will inevitably come across work data at some point. Many companies will even allow their employees – for good reason – to work remotely. While there are many productivity benefits to these initiatives, there are also ample security risks with allowing company data to go offsite onto personal devices and computers. According to Business News Daily, 36 percent of Americans have lost their mobile phones or had them stolen. Furthermore, the proliferation of mobile applications and mobile payment processing means that there are even more instances of sensitive data being exchanged.

With so many potential risks out there, it is essential that your small business is able to remote wipe all company data on personal devices. Such a provision would allow you to remotely destroy data or disable access when devices go missing or are compromised. In today’s technological world, such drastic measures are sometimes necessary.

Buttress security with a full security suite
While preparing for emergencies and having contingencies is all well and good, the truth is that the best offense might be a good defense. According to the news source, it is essential that all small businesses have a comprehensive security suite and system installed for all their data and operations. This can include all sorts of programming and hardware security measures. For starters, install a firewall system for not only your software but your hardware as well. A secure appliance-based firewall between your business data and the internet will help you eliminate threats before the enter too deeply into your network. Always update all your anti-virus and spam filters and educate your employees on best practices for online and data security.

Chelsea Segal

Chelsea Segal

Chelsea Segal is the CEO of Targetwise. TARGETWISE empowers agencies, brands + marketers with results-oriented solutions that grow, nurture + maintain a social ecosphere.

Neutralizing all digital channels, we accelerate performance by applying data driven optimizationin real-time across a superior blend of mobile, video,display and email inventory. Converting the right people at the right time, we drive brand solutions, while securing optimal impact, engagement + results.
Chelsea Segal