From The Editor | May 27, 2010

SMBs: Top Five Data Security Tips

When Symantec launched its Symantec Protection Suite Advanced Business Edition to secure and protect SMBs valuable business information, it also rolled out some advice for those customers.

  • The front door is locked – what about the company information? As a rule, SMBs always make sure their business is locked and secure before they leave. What about company information? SMBs must implement an integrated security and backup solution to ensure proprietary information is safe – especially bank and credit card information. One data breach could mean financial ruin for an SMB, which can easily be prevented by implementing a comprehensive suite that secures and protects information.
  • Always on the go? Don't forget endpoint protection. Instead of solely focusing on devices, such as laptops, SMBs need to take a step back and look at where their information is being stored and protect those areas accordingly. In addition to encryption and security updates, it is important to enforce password management for managers and employees. Maintaining strong passwords will help protect the data stored on a laptop if a device is lost or hacked.
  • Oh no! The office is flooded – is your information backed up? In case of a disaster, outbreak or system failure - whether it be a flood, power outage or earthquake—a backup and recovery solution is a must. Most SMBs operate on a constant basis, and one outage could mean customer dissatisfaction and ruin for the business. Not only can disasters be detrimental, but a simple hard drive failure for a key employee can feel (and act like) a disaster.
  • Businesses don't waste time with physical junk mail, so why put up with "junk" email? Mail and Web security threats are a nuisance for SMBs. Not only can wading through unwanted mail be time consuming, deleting unwanted emails, especially those that are malicious in nature, takes up valuable time. A good mail and Web security solution can help mitigate the nuisance of spam and email threats so SMBs spend more time on their day-to-day business activities. Spammers and phishers will use everything from current events to social engineering tactics to get users to click on their malicious emails. SMBs must educate their employees so they are not duped by the lures dropped by these cybercriminals.
  • Get into back-to-school mode. According to Symantec and the National Cyber Security Alliance, only 28 percent of U.S. small businesses have formal Internet security policies and just 35 percent provide any training to employees about Internet safety and security. It is important to keep employees educated on the latest threats, and what they can do individually to combat them. Employees that know what they can click on and what they should stay away from is an important step. It is also important to change passwords regularly and never share them with anyone.