Information is a precious commodity. When shared in the right manner, it can help you make more informed decisions faster and easier, deliver the right products to the right people, and improve operational efficiencies. But when it gets into the wrong hands or is lost through system failures or human error, it can send you scrambling.
As we become increasingly interconnected, our information has become more susceptible to these risks. How can you protect it and make sure you have what you need to keep your business up and running?
SMBs are more vulnerable
AMI-Partners reports that 42% of mid-market firms have experienced a data or security breach in the last 12 months.1 Hackers recognize that smaller and midsized businesses can be stepping stones towards the compromise of larger, more lucrative targets. Smaller businesses are particularly vulnerable to security issues, since they are less able to endure the associated costs. When data is compromised, it can lead to unplanned downtime, lost revenue and productivity, as well as lawsuits and legal issues that could even force a company out of business. Analysts estimate an average cost of $35,000 per incident. 2
Three steps to protect yourself
So, what can you do? Your ability to stay in business and grow hinges on the availability of fully reliable data at any time, from anywhere. Be proactive and improve your security before it becomes an issue.
It’s simple to do if you follow these three steps:
1. Choose resilient products
Protecting your business starts with the products you choose for the foundation of your IT infrastructure. Increasing security can be as simple as choosing reliable modern products with resiliency designed in. The right systems provide robust features aimed at contributing to the security of your data. Dependable products with a reputation for quality are your first line of defense.
2. Deploy pervasive network security
Today, the network acts as a door in and out of the company. Almost two thirds of mid-market firms use tablets for business purposes and 93% use smart phones. 3 The potential for any of these mobile devices to be infected, lost or stolen introduces an element of risk. You want to make certain that your network only allows in those who you really want to have access to your applications and data.
Intelligent access points are imperative. Firewalls built into wired and wireless access points improve your chances of keeping unwanted visitors out. Intrusion detection and prevention capabilities can enhance that. Products that offer multilevel-access security controls and provide for high availability can help keep your network up and running.
3. Implement strong backup and recovery
Data loss incidents and security breaches will happen. Those who invest in an improved backup and recovery posture can bounce back easier and faster. Choosing reliable, highly available storage that can sustain multiple concurrent failures and yet still keep data online and accessible can really make a difference. Systems and storage that protect your data with encryption at rest and in-flight also contribute to the security of your data. And remember that when you invest in products backed by a worldwide support organization that can supply you with local support, should there be any trouble, they can help you get back up and running quickly.
Investing in the security of your business may be one of the most important decisions you make. Read about other ideas on how to protect your data on the PULSE of IT, a website dedicated to sharing useful information between forward-thinking small and midsize business leaders, in Andrew Wright’s article Defending data in the age of BYOD