Ways SMEs can combat security challenges
The high profile hacks of established companies such as Apple and Sony present a massive threat for small to medium enterprises (SMEs). Businesses are ever more concerned about the safety and security of their data relating to customer information and stakeholders. A leak of such confidential information can easily put the organization under immense pressure and at risk of loss of credibility. More importantly, it can diminish strong customer relationships and brand reputation, both of which are greatly fragile and take years for enterprises to consolidate.
In this article, we will focus on some of the ways SMEs can combat the impending security challenges that have put CEOs and IT personnel under constant worry.
Scale of Cyber security threats
The first step in combating security risks is to understand its scale of threats and why firms cannot address it effectively. The landscape of cyber security hacks and threats has taken great leaps given the developments and increase of cloud computing services and proliferation of mobile devices.
Awareness of security threats
The first way SMES can address its security issues is by cultivating education and awareness of preventative measures among staff. Educating personnel on avoiding the use of weak passwords on their mobile and tablet devices and not leaving it elsewhere is the first step in preventing any security hacks to take place.
Organizations are constantly in the race of installing the latest security software programs and protocols. However, if staff is made aware of the sensitivity of the security leaks, the increased responsibility will help curb cyber attacks to a large degree.
Avoiding the Cloud
As beneficial cloud computing has proved to be for storing substantial amounts of data for companies, SMEs can keep themselves more secure by not falling into the same traps as their large enterprise partners. Although hackers have not shown to be efficient at hacking data stored in the cloud, the emergence of newer technology and applications can make it easier.
“There have been no security scares yet as hackers want everyone to put all their data in the cloud and then do a land grab and get out, which is why it’s quiet for now”
- Steve Nicholls, technical expert at Ingens
Security of Mobile Phones
The increase in the number of users accessing the internet from their mobile phones and tablets is forcing SMEs to design mobile applications and websites that are optimized for mobile web surfing. Research from GlobalWebIndex shows that around 80% of users access the internet from their smartphones.
While this sounds advantageous for SMEs, mobile phones and tablet devices are a category where the majority of cyber crimes are taking places owing to its inherently weak security structure. SMEs due to their lower capital and scale of operations are in a tough decision to want increased security or increased customer base.
Therefore, SMEs will have to invest in better mobile security upgrades if they want to secure a greater chance data protection.
The threat of cyber security is proving to be greater for SMEs than larger corporations due to their lack of security awareness and infrastructure. However, by implementing the aforementioned methods, they can hope to have a more secure enterprise.