I am tired of seeing companies make the same ridiculous mistakes when it comes to protecting their data. Too often, smart entrepreneurs make dumb decisions, assuming firewalls will protect them while overlooking the sophisticated attacks involving social engineering and ransomware that target businesses just like theirs every day. By the time someone realizes their data is at risk, their company is already in the middle of a cyber nightmare.
“What am I supposed to do?” people ask. “All of my time is spent running my company and focusing on surviving in my industry. Am I supposed to become a data security expert too?” No, of course not. Protecting your data doesn’t mean spending 10 years learning a new field. It just means being proactive. If you’re tired of being in over your head in terms of data security, get proactive and start by asking these three questions:
Question 1: What are your most important data assets? Start by looking at your data. You have more than you think. Some of it resides on servers, some on laptop hard drives. Many of your company secrets are likely store in an email client or on someone’s mobile device.
Hopefully your data is backed up regularly. Where are those backups right now? What applications do you rely on most? How long can you go without them? Consider the impact of losing one and prioritize. Next, ask yourself …
Question 2: Who would want your data, and how would they get it? This is not just about theft. Expand your question to consider anything that might make applications or data inaccessible to your business or corrupt and unusable. If your business is going through a layoff or legal battle, your threats may look different. A merger or acquisition would also affect your threats, so look both at the value of your data and the changing
business climate. You will also want to consider single points of failure or potential bottlenecks. Finally, you will want to consider your preparedness.
Question 3: Would you know in time to stop a data breach or outage? Every business leader MUST know if they can stop a cyber-disaster before it’s too late. Can you detect it and stop it in time? How confident are you?
Bottom line: You need to know the top threats, the impact associated with each threat, and the likelihood something bad will happen in the near future. Then, if or when the unthinkable does happen, you must be able to detect it and stop it before business-crippling malware takes down your company.
Answering these three questions will help you assess your business risk, but once you know your risk, the trick is finding the right technology to offset it. My special report, “Will You Survive the Digital Revolution?” aims to help answer that question and many others that small business owners have about their company.
Do you know the 7 Major Threats that will take down your business? I dive into each of them on page 10 of the e-book. And you may want to rethink the role compliance plays in your company when you learn why a compliance-focused approach to data security will destroy your
business (page 24).