At this moment, there are four big cybersecurity threats currently facing your small business. And chances are, you might not even realize they exist – or pose a threat to begin with.
Small businesses in particular need to be wary of threats, mainly because they might not have the IT bandwidth of a larger organization to battle them. While it’s the hacking of big corporations that makes the news, small-and-medium-sized businesses are still a target to hackers across the globe. And just because you’re not a large global conglomerate doesn’t mean your data isn’t confidential, or at not risk.
- Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
With the proliferation of mobile and electronic devices still on the rise, it’s not surprise these personal devices are making their way into the workplace. Tablets, laptops, smartphones and wearables all present excellent productivity opportunities for employees, but also potential high-risk backdoors into your systems.
Keep it safe: The best way to prevent leaks through personal devices in work is to implement an employee-wide BYOD policy in your workplace, which should assess device risk and ensure only employees are able to use said devices. Additionally, employees should educate staff on the dangers of personal devices in the workplace to help enforce policies and rules put in place around personal devices.
- Information Management
Whether you’re a small start-up or large government contractor, chances are you have information you don’t want your competitors reading. Sadly, this is the information hackers are looking for, and is some of the information most easily mishandled by employees of all levels. Leaked documents could have disastrous results, ranging from losing classified projects and designs to having your entire networks left open.
Keep it safe: When it comes to information management, encryption is key. Password-lock PDFs to ensure only the specific readers you had in mind see the document, and consider using redacting software in your PDF viewer to cover sensitive information. Password securing PDFs is a secure way to ensure the document hasn’t been altered since it’s been signed by another person – a good way to know it hasn’t been viewed during its travels.
- The Internet of Things (IoT)
The future of technology is here, and with it is the Internet of Things. While this interconnectivity of all things around us will offer a wealth of opportunity for automation and technological growth, it also offers a significant threat since every connected machine is part of a network that can be hacked.
Keep it safe: Although still in it’s infancy, IoT threats are out there and they are boundless. Being educated on them is the first step to fighting them. Additionally, ensuring all machines on a network – not just the traditional IT infrastructure – are encrypted and secured is a must when it comes to IoT.
- Hard Copies
Although we live in the digital age, many employees still like to read and work on physical sheets of paper. While this may seem like an issue of wasted paper for people who simply are tired of looking at a screen, printing hard copies of documents, especially sensitive information, now creates a physical manifestation of information a hacker would have had to spend hours trying to get. Whether that be not destroying documents, or simply leaving them on the printer, having physical copies made is a recipe for loose-data disaster.
Keep it safe: Besides training employees to destroy sensitive printed documents after use, encrypted print files to require an employee to sign-in to print them is one way to avoid having information left in the printer. Additionally, restricting print access to lower users can help combat lower-level employees printing sensitive information by mistake, and requiring a user-authentication will help you track back any potential leaks later down the line.
Being aware of the big four cybersecurity risks facing your business is the first step, but preparation is the second. While larger organizations may have IT departments with the capabilities to implement these defenses, smaller businesses would do better to partner with a trusted IT professional like NENS to take the tech-side of things off their plate so they can get back to what really matters – making the most of their resources to grow their business.