If you think that because you own a small business, you don’t have to worry about big business security threats like burglary, employee theft, and cyberattacks, you’re not alone. But that doesn’t mean you’re right.
According to a recent study conducted by security vendor Symantec and the National Cyber Security Alliance, most small businesses labor under a false sense of security when it comes to their online data. Nearly 80 percent of those polled said they lack a formal written Internet security policy for employees, with only 52 percent admitting they have a plan in place for dealing with hackers, viruses, or other cyber-ills. Also, less than one in ten small businesses were concerned with losing such critical data as consumer information even though such a loss would be ruinous to their business, with past statistics suggesting that roughly 60 percent of small businesses close within six months of a cyberattack.
These are shocking stats. And when you compound them with the fact that losses from physical theft cost U.S. businesses billions of dollars each year, there’s no doubt that the need to protect one’s premises, inventory, and intellectual property is more important than ever. How then can small business owners safeguard their property from criminals? And what about the ever-ubiquitous threat of hackers in cyberspace, who may steal with one flick on the keyboard the customer data that could be the lifeline for your business?
Consider the price of lost data
Savas Papadopoulos, chief technology officer of the Baltimore, Maryland-based FastNeuron Inc., sells backup software for servers and workstations and has over 30,000 users worldwide. He says the unique value of your data is a key variable to consider when looking at backup servers that will protect a small business’s information.
Papadopoulos urges small business owners to build in “redundant” systems and adopt a wealth of options, such as multiple backup servers. “[Small businesses] need backups in different locations in case their office is broken into, flooded, or catches fire,” he explains. “The most important thing business owners need to do is imagine the worst-case scenario: What if all your computers break down? This could happen if lightning strikes a nearby power pole and the surge enters the building. How much would it cost to reconstruct all the data? For most businesses, the cost of backing up is miniscule compared to the potential losses.”
Michael Krutikov, senior global marketing manager for Symantec’s SMB backup and recovery business, wholeheartedly agrees. He notes, “small businesses should understand what types of systems they have running, what types of applications they have and which files are most critical. It’s embarrassing to call your customers to request their information over again. Losing data really impacts small business [productivity].”