Data security is becoming more important as business data is being collected everywhere. Globally, we generate 2.5 quintillion bytes of data each day, a figure that will likely grow steadily in the years to come. In fact, the data generated just within the last two years amounts to 90% of the data currently in existence.
Much of this data is consumer-driven, thanks to e-commerce, social media, and the ever-growing Internet of Things (IoT). Businesses often use data to improve offerings, identify customer trends, develop customer relationships, and analyze the competition. However, with this data comes a significant responsibility to protect the information contained in the bits and bytes being stored.
The rapid pace of data generation requires a business to stay on top of their data protection strategy. Threats to data security seem to lurk at every turn. But what are the biggest threats to a company’s data?
Six Big Threats to Your Company Data
Phishing schemes, hacking, identity theft, and a host of other cyber threats can leave your business data vulnerable. While cyberattacks on big businesses garner a lot of press, the number of attacks on small businesses is growing. In 2015, small businesses with fewer than 250 employees made up 43% of cyber attacks worldwide. Don’t assume that just because your business is small, it isn’t attractive to cybercriminals.
2. Natural Disasters and Technological Disasters
Dependence on technology makes businesses more vulnerable when disaster strikes. Natural disasters such as storms or floods can damage infrastructure. Accidental disasters like a server failure or human error can compromise data. Whatever form it takes, a disaster can cause significant damage to your business. In fact, nearly 40% of businesses that experience a data disaster close their doors.
3. Malicious Attacks
Malware, denial of service attacks, and ransomware are just a few forms of malicious attacks that can compromise your business data. These types of attacks serve a number of purposes, including stealing passwords, rendering data unavailable, and exploiting system vulnerabilities. It’s a constant battle for IT security experts – nearly one million threats are released every day.
4. Infrastructure Complexity
Technology is supposed to make things easier, right? In theory, that’s true, particularly when it comes to streamlining management and reducing costs. In practice, however, the ease that comes with consolidating servers into virtual machines can also put your data at risk. As a matter of fact, the downtime resulting from damaged or destroyed hardware can be significant if data is concentrated in fewer places. Replacement of legacy systems or servers can take a big bite out of IT budgets, too. Getting new technology to play nicely with older technology is a delicate dance, and you want to protect critical data as much as possible.
Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) is the norm in today’s business world. Most employees use their own smartphone, tablet, or laptop to access company information. However, these devices present an increased security risk for business, and IT departments must be vigilant about protecting company information when it is accessed by an employee device.
6. Security and Privacy Regulations
Data breaches make the news with alarming regularity these days, resulting in increased regulations designed to protect security and privacy. Though the healthcare and financial industries have experienced the bulk of these regulations, the trend is expanding across all industries. Compliance is a standard by which many businesses are judged, and protecting data is a large part of that.
Protect Your Business Data
So how do you protect your business data in the face of these six threats? You do it by developing a solid business continuity plan, which allows your business to operate despite the adversity that may come your way. Business continuity plans will vary from company to company, but usually include:
- Identification of risks and associated impacts
- Roles and responsibilities of critical personnel and vendors
- Contact information and communications plan
- Detailed recovery procedures
- Cloud-based backup data
- Redundant equipment and/or facilities
- Regularly scheduled testing and update cycles
Partnering With a Business Continuity Provider
Preparing your business for the rapid changes of today’s technology requires vigilance and a good plan. If your business relies on uninterrupted access to data (and most businesses do), it’s imperative to have a plan in place to protect your business data. Such a plan makes it possible to continue operations no matter what challenges arise.
Want to know more about protecting your business data? Contact Lieberman Technologies!