Securing your company’s technology infrastructure no longer means just locking the office doors. The dramatic reshaping of the IT landscape makes it possible for employees to work any time from any place, and the proliferation of mobile devices has transformed how you, your employees and customers interact. While this shift offers small businesses increased productivity and innovation at lower costs, it also adds complexity when ensuring your company’s confidential information and operations remain secure.
Luckily, while the technology landscape has changed, the process for assessing your company’s security has not. It’s as simple as defining your security requirements and ensuring your business is addressing its greatest risks.
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Define your Security Requirements
Every business is unique, with a unique set of technology security requirements. These are your company’s needs from a regulatory, legal and business perspective to ensure your company’s data does not fall into the wrong hands.
Your business has a specific set of legal and regulatory requirements, as well as a fiduciary responsibility, to protect its reputation by keeping sensitive information secure. Typically, a review of any business quickly yields 2-3 critical categories of sensitive information to secure.
Assess your Risks
What happens if this sensitive information is compromised, and falls into the wrong hands? The magnitude of a risk is the probability of a negative event occurring, multiplied times the cost of the negative event. Assess the probability that sensitive data could become compromised, and estimate the cost to your business if it does occur.
The New IT Risks
As you evaluate your business’ risks and how you can optimize your IT infrastructure to keep information secure, there are three trends your business must prepare for in this new IT landscape:
Mobile Security: As mobile devices continue to proliferate, every small business must decide how mobile devices may or may not be used with sensitive data and how to enforce these decisions.
Each device and application working with sensitive data must also have its own security policies, often based on the employee’s role and what they need to do. Fortunately, new solutions exist to help companies manage and control their mobile security requirements.
Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) Security: When an employee brings in a personal device and uses it to access email, instant messaging and collaborative applications, you want your business to be just as secure as if they were using a computer plugged directly into the network. The right products and policies will identify who is using the device, where they are and what they are accessing.
Cloud Security: Ten years ago, we purchased CDs. Today, you’re likely to listen to music stored in the cloud or streamed over the Internet. Small businesses are undergoing the same shift with their data, as physical records and processes are made electronic, and those electronic records need to be stored, processed, managed and backed up. Your security assessment should include a review of the cloud services your company uses and whether any of your company’s sensitive data might find its way into the cloud.
By considering these risks, when you close your office doors at the end of the day you can be confident that you’ve closed all the other “doors” to sensitive information left open in this new IT landscape.
I hope you’ve enjoyed SMB Month and our look at technologies evolving roll in small and medium-sized business. Be sure to check out parts 1-3 of our blog series discussing financing, mobile working and collaboration technology.