Data breaches are a growing threat to small businesses
In the UK small business owners were warned that failure to protect data will cost them. Following the publication of the Information Security Breaches Survey 2015, the Minister for the Digital Economy Ed Vaizey outlined that a major security breach for a small business in the UK could cost as much as £310,800.
- 90% of security breaches impact small businesses
- 30% of small businesses suffer ‘staff-related breaches
Covering all the areas of security can be a daunting task for small and medium businesses. Many either don’t have the infrastructure or the staff to maintain their networks and computers.
Organizations must identify their weaknesses and address them before they become a victim of a breach. This requires that they develop policies and procedures first. Many might not know where to begin; however, there are many free resources like the SANS Institute and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
- Information Security Handbook: A Guide of Managers
- Generally Accepted Principles and Practices for Securing Information Technology Systems
- NIST Computer Security Resource Center (CSRC)
- SANS Institute: Information Security Policy Templates
The starting a strong information security program depends on building a foundation with policies and it also requires training and raising the awareness of employees. The following websites offer free resources that can help with education.
- SANS Institute: Information Security Awareness
- InfraGard Information Security Awareness training
- Stay Safe Online
Policies and education will not secure the business without ensuring secure of the network is adequately addressed. Protocol 46’s Nimble Feather will help organizations by identifying the weaknesses in their network devices and provide a written report of how to address those issues. This is critical because not exercising due diligence to protect an organization’s data can result in substantial fines and damage to reputation. While large breaches at fortune 500 companies make the headlines, small and medium businesses do not catch headlines. However, they often occur and result in the business closing.