As a SME, you will depend on your IT systems for everything from business accounting to marketing and customer support. As a responsible business owner, youneed to take adequate precautions to ensure your business IT security is up to date and your systems continue to run wihout issues.
Most SMEs will have identified the following as potential sources of threats to their businesses:
Data loss or corruption – Data. Your biggest asset. It needs to be protected from security issues including accidental deletion, malicious attacks (internal and external) and physical threats (fire, flood and the loss or theft of equipment containing data).
Internet security issues – Cyber criminals could target your business systems, or you could be impacted by malicious websites, dodgy software, viruses, Trojans, spyware or spam.
Your employees – Whether by accident or intent, the people in your business can be the biggest threat to your IT systems. Carelessness, fraud or disgruntled workers can all be the source of security breaches.
Business IT security – 2 core components
Establishing good business IT security consists of 2 core components:
- The right right technology and systems to protect your IT systems and data.
- Creating and enforcing clear and simple IT policies can also help employees understand what is expected and permitted and help minimise IT Security issues.
Achieving the right balance can be difficuly – if your processes and systems are too restrictive, employees will seek shortcuts to get their job done. But, if your processes and systems are not rigorous enough, they would be susceptible to cyber criminals, computer viruses and other security threats.
Although your legal obligations – most notably data protection and the GDPR rules – are important, don’t focus solely on these. Your obligations under the law .
Rigorous IT security controls may also give your business a competitive edge and potentially help you win new contracts. For instance, the Government requires all suppliers of contracts involving personal information to hold the ‘Cyber Essentials’ badge.
Prevent and cure
Certain essential computer protection tasks will form the core of the preventative measures you need take to create business IT security, such as installing security software, using a firewall and keeping all software up-to-date.
Howeever, you need to give consideration to security issues from day one, aiming to make business IT security an integral part of your Business’ IT equipment and services.
Only by creating a proper security plan can really assess the security issues that could impact your business, the probability of them happening and the damage they might cause on your operations, reputation and finances. By having a plan you can consider the risks methodically and plan the provisioning of IT Security properly.
You should also think about how you would you cope if something did go wrong. In the event of any security issues affecting your business your aim would be to get your business up and running with minimum disruption to customers, employees and finances – considering your business continuity, disaster recovery and back-up options is crucial.