The recent Amazon data breach news has intrigued many businesses, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to assess their own exposure towards data breach. As a small business owner, you are likely to think: “if such a big business as Amazon is exposed to data breach, how about mine?” Although this thought can pressure any business owner or manager, it is important to know that there are signs that one can identify indicating that your company data could be at risk so that you are in a better position of stopping the damage from occurring. With the assistance of a managed IT services provider, you can identify a solution.
1. Password Problems
If your staff either has poor password skills or they have to keep resetting their passwords, know that you company’s data is at risk. People often think that hackers use complicated processes and codes to circumvent login screens. This is a misconception. They usually guess or determine passwords by identifying a pattern that is common in many cases such as use of pet names or important dates in one’s life. The best approach to correct this problem is to encourage employees or users to use a combination of characters (letters, numbers and symbols) when setting passwords.
2. Lack of IT Support
Most small business owners usually state that their business is too small to integrate extra’ staff or departments as an excuse to the lack of IT professionals in their business. Although this is seen as extra cost, having internal or contracted IT professionals can allow a business to not only avoid such data breaches, but to also identify the risk factors that are hidden or not easily noticeable. Remember that if a small business suffers a cyber-attack, it has less than a 50% chance of surviving in the next six months.
3. Absence of Data Securing Procedures or Authentication
If your company fails to have procedures for data storage, access and authentication, it risks data breach. There should be a cyber-security strategy, which will ensure that company information is kept confidential and safe.
4. Employees Working Remotely
It is good to give your employees the freedom to work outside the conventional office. However, this exposes your company to data exposure risk. They can use their personal computers or networks that are sometimes unsecured, hence exposing the company to hackers or malicious activities. Procedures and processes from professionals are needed in minimizing this risk.
5. High Employee Turnover
Companies, whether small or multinational may fail to implement strategies or systems, which will ensure that an employee’s status in the company is updated and he/she has deleted all the valuable information from areas he/she can access after being relieved off his/her duties or responsibilities. Such lack of updates allows old employees to access or walk out with important information from the company premises. To handle this risk, you have to implement protocol that will facilitate updating of employee status and information in the company systems.
6. Lack of Updated Software
If your company uses old software, you stand a high risk of encountering data breach. Technology companies such as Microsoft are constantly updating their software by meeting the constantly evolving security and users’ needs. A company that fails to update its software accordingly exposes itself to security threats, which it does not have to face. This situation equates to using padlocks to lock hotel rooms in an era where key-cards are being used.
If your company/business is exposed to one or more of these risk factors, contact managed IT services provider and you will minimize your chances of encountering data security breaches.