Importance of IT Security In Your Workplace
The topic of cyber security has become ever-present issue in boardrooms across the world, but it’s not just a buzzword. Risk of data breach is a real and tangible concern to all organizations, regardless of the sector or the size. All businesses today rely upon critical business data, such as customer data, financials and pricing, network structures, and more.
Because of this expansion to the importance of business data, IT security has become a key pillar to success in business by enabling that data to remain private and secure. More than ever, that task requires more and more attention. Unfortunately, too many businesses are not set up to succeed with their IT security, as almost half of all companies suffered a data breach in 2017 while almost three quarters of companies suffering data breaches don’t know the cause. Small and medium businesses are particularly at risk for data breaches, as they represent a majority of the cybersecurity incidents that occur each year.
The risk of data breach and the consequences of such events are too great to ignore, so what exactly do you need to know about this important topic?
What is the source of data breaches?
Data breaches can come from anywhere, as malicious actors are always evolving their techniques and finding new ways to access your data.
Employee negligence is one of the weakest links in data security. Unaware employees might be opening emails and attachments they shouldn’t, leaving their computers or other devices unattended, using non-secure passwords, and more.
An additional weak link that’s becoming more prevalent in recent years is employee mobility, that is people working virtually and/or remotely away from the physical office. While these practices continue to revolutionize the working word, it also comes with increased risk to business data, especially if the remote employees are too relaxed with their use of data by storing such data on personal devices.
These risks are assuming the weak links will be exploited by bad actors, but the risk of data breach does not need to be something malicious. In fact, something as simple as failing to back up your organization’s data results in vulnerabilities.
What’s at risk when a business experiences a data breach?
If any of these vulnerabilities might be present at your business, exactly what is at stake? The damages from data breach are great and varied. If exposed to a data breach, the potential harm includes:
- Damage to your company’s reputation, particularly with potential new clients being concerned with what might happen to their data if they choose to work with you
- Financial fallout resulting from the need to fix the problems caused by the data breach and addressing all customer concerns about said breach
- Being exposed during a data breach could impact your business’s contractual obligations
- Experiencing a data breach could result in legal penalties, such as compensation for damages and resulting lawsuits, not to mention the legal risks and regulatory burden associated with notifying individuals whose data has been compromised
How can you secure your organization against the risk of data breach?
So now that you’re aware of the seriousness of data breaches, how can your organization best increase your IT security and keep your data safe?
Despite these various potential vulnerabilities, companies can take any number of steps to tighten the enterprise and prevent future data breaches. For one, businesses should work with their IT providers to encrypt data, use firewalls, and install other software-based safeguard technologies. Additionally, technical solutions like keeping software up to date and implementing two-factor authentication can greatly increase your IT security.
Beyond the purely technical solutions, organizations also should take care to educate employees and anyone who has access to their data on the topic, such as how to spot malware, phishing attempts, and more. This education includes initiating best practices for remote employees, such as only opening secure data on certain company-provided devices that utilize the necessary safeguards. Just as important as educating the employees, though, is enforcing data security policies and making sure to refresh that education regularly.
Lastly, organizations should take care to hire the best IT experts and/or consultants who can implement the needed IT security protocols.
If data breaches are a concern for your business, VanTech is an expert in effectively and efficiently applying the IT solutions that will keep your data and business secure. Please reach out to VanTech today at (973) 744-1660.