4 Big Security Risks Right Now
Security challenges can come in many forms. Sometimes, it's customer data that's at risk, other times, it's your company secrets.
IT TechNewsDaily asked Jeff Donios, technical director at digital marketing agency VML and Jeff Borisch, IT manager of design research firm SonicRim, to tell us about the three main security challenges faced by IT departments of small businesses.
1. Protecting personal information
"A lot of companies capture information as users are on the web making purchases," Donios said. "If there’s a security breach, someone has access to exactly what a consumer did, what they purchased and that’s sensitive info."
Donios categorized this challenge under managing public perception—because beyond facing the consequences of leaked private information, a small business also risks damaging the company's reputation.
2. Protecting Intellectual Property:
According to Donios, small business owners have more to lose than large corporations.
"As a small business you’re trying to solve a specific problem within your market; you exist because you solve that problem extremely well. If another company gets a hold of the core of how you solve that problem, then they can replicate what you do and put you out of business," he said.
Donios pointed out that it would be easy for an employee to upload data onto zip drives or online applications like Dropbox because not all businesses invest in systems that track what information is leaving the company.
3. External risks
Some people speculate that cloud computing puts small businesses at risk since a third party has control over the security and functionality of its servers. But according to Jeff Borisch, IT manager of design research firm SonicRimthe risk isn't any different than the risk of managing your own servers.
"It's just a different kind of risk. As a small business, maybe you have a consultant come in—they might not be available to take care of problems," Borisch said. "Or maybe the guy you have in-house has so much to do that he can't keep up with every security issue."
4. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) risks
Borisch adds one more security challenge—as he calls it, the social aspect.
Sometimes employees would rather use their iPhone than the company-issued BlackBerry, or maybe they bring in their own laptop. Any of these devices could introduce a virus onto the company's network. Borisch said a business can prevent that by not allowing employees to bring in external devices at all.
"But then you get the personality problem—the social aspect of balancing what you could do to keep things secure, versus what people are going to accept," he said.