Simple, Stress-Free Security for Small Businesses

When it comes to online security, protection against hackers and viruses remains critical to small business continuity. Such attacks can cripple small businesses, leading to costly computer technician visits and short-term business shutdown. The bottom line, according to a recent Fox Business article, is: “Small companies need the same level of protection as big ones, because hackers don't differentiate on size.”

A recent global survey of IT and business executives conducted by the Computing Technology Industry Association identified the following threats as the most critical in today’s operations:

  • Malware
  • Browser-based threats
  • Data theft
  • Social engineering/phishing.

Survey respondents also said that security software was the most effective means of preventing breaches and attacks, followed by training and policies. So what can you do to protect your business? According to Polly S. Traylor, a former high-tech magazine journalist with CIO and The Industry Standard, businesses should start with these measures:

  • Step 1: Research the best security software and tools your company can afford.
  • Step 2: Focus on solutions that won’t tax your time and internal expertise.
  • Step 3: Don’t forget about user behavior. By some accounts, internal fraud is to blame for half or more of data theft incidents.

“Security as a utility is definitely becoming more available to small businesses,” said Tom Wills, a Singapore-based security consultant providing risk management programs to banking, e-commerce, homeland security, enterprise software, and telecommunications companies, as quoted in the Fox Business article. “It refers to things that can be automated, like user authentication, firewalls, and scanning for malware.”

Businesses are also advised to look beyond simple e-mail spam filters and consider software to protect against blended attacks, such as when e-mails contain links to infected Web sites. Also, data loss prevention (DLP) software protects against sensitive information leaking beyond company walls.

Another vital factor to keep in mind involves cloud-based security services, which deliver protection and updates via the Web, including user authentication, firewalls, intrusion prevention and detection, virus and malware scanning, and encryption of e-mail and documents. And services like Windows Intune — a Microsoft-hosted solution that includes PC management, malware protection and Windows upgrades — combine security with other management offerings.

For more solutions to possible online hacking and virus attacks, read the full article: