An onslaught of regulatory requirements, technological advances, and scrutiny over computer security has led to a significant shift in the way small business are expected to handle their customer’s data. Here, we take a look at the biggest issues that small to medium sized businesses need to get a grip on before they fall victim to a security hit.
Low-tech theft is increasing as businesses replace paper records with computerized records. As a consequence, data thieves have more avenues in which to enter organizations and help themselves to their information.
Another big concern is the loss of portable devices such as laptops, tablets, and even smartphones, which many companies and employees have come to rely on heavily. Stolen, lost, or missing devices offer one of the biggest security breaches. According to the US Department of Health, devices accounted for as much as 24% of all data security breaches last year.
Data minimization is becoming increasingly more important for corporate computer security. Organizations have spent years collating information from their clients, only to find that much of it is useless (and therefore a liability). Expect to see more companies limiting the data they hold as a way to minimize security risks.
Increased Collaboration Risks
Many industries have begun to share data on a massive scale as more organizations merge or partner with one other. Unfortunately, data in transit is highly vulnerable to theft. Experts expect this area of vulnerability will be targeted by innovative cyber criminals in due course, if they haven’t started already.
Social Networking Policies
With mobile devices becoming commonplace, the line between our work lives and our social lives has already become blurred. This means that employees could become unwitting security risks when engaging on social media websites. Formal social network policies are sure to follow as companies seek to protect themselves.
Data Encryption Essential for Compliance
Data encryption is fast becoming the most essential caveat of computer security. It represents the best (but not the only) way to keep out malicious hackers. With states like Massachusetts and Nevada already insisting on data encryption as an essential item on compliance checklists, expect more states to follow suit soon.
Small-Scale Security Breaches
With healthcare entities now being compelled to report any breach that affects more than 500 people, we can expect to see a much higher reporting incidence.
Third-party Breach Notification Requirements
With more companies outsourcing data collection to third-party organizations, we can also expect much more stringent obligations in contractual agreements in order to make sure their data is protected.