Cyber attacks and data breaches are regularly in the news, and often come with a loss or exposure of customers’ data and a loss of reputation to the business. Large, well-known businesses are often in the headlines; small to medium-size businesses, however, are just as much at risk.  Knowledge of cybersecurity practices has yet to keep up with new threats. According to CompTIA’s 2018 Trends in Cybersecurity report, “Businesses with fewer than 100 employees are far more likely than their larger counterparts to feel that their IT security is simply adequate or unsatisfactory. Without a deep resource pool to lean on, smaller firms struggle to address new facets of IT security.” To learn more about protecting your data, read on.

The Importance of Data Protection

When a cyberattack occurs, customer data can be either lost or get in the hands of cybercriminals. As a result, customers can lose trust in your company to keep their data safe, data that is generated through online interactions with your company. How do you protect this data, your relationships with your customers, and your company’s bottom line? Your business may also be subject to regulatory compliance, such as following GDRP, HIPAA or PCI-DDS. As ever, it’s important to keep antivirus and anti-malware definitions up to date and to monitor your network. Backing up data in the Cloud is also an option to consider. But just as important is to develop a culture of cybersecurity in your organization.

Develop a Culture of Cybersecurity

Managers and CEOs can set the tone for a culture of cybersecurity by emphasizing the benefits of data protection. Not only does it keep customers safe, it can keep employees safe, too. Educate your employees about every individual being an end-user, both at work and outside of work. Remind them of the importance of protecting their own data on social media, and how it’s easier to prevent a breach than repair the effects of one. The same goes in the workplace. Data protection can help keep the business running and keep employees working effectively without experiencing downtime.

Training employees doesn’t have to be a one-time event, nor does it have to be dull. Inventive executives can create incentives and rewards, such as the confidence that they are protecting the company and themselves or giving a prize to the first person to accurately recognize a phishing attempt.

Assess Your Current State of Security

A good place to start is to assess your current level of data security; an audit of your computing resources will help you know where you stand.  Contact your technology advisor today to start on the road to data security.

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