Data breaches can happen to everyone, including small businesses. In fact, attackers often target small businesses because they are the most vulnerable. As companies (and individuals) rely more on technology like cloud computing, the risk of a data breach becomes even more serious.
There are more cyberattacks, and they are becoming more sophisticated. Data is also perceived as a valuable commodity, providing attackers with more incentives for stealing crucial business information. While the risks are growing, not all businesses are aware of them.
There are several ways you can sabotage your own business by neglecting information security. Failure to put sufficient security measures in place can disrupt your business operations, sometimes with dire consequences. That’s why it is important to understand how IP address can be used online. Some cases are discussed by Proxyway guys.
Larger Attack Surface
There are more security risks to mitigate than ever before. Almost all business solutions now run in the cloud. We regularly rely on services like AWS to store information and run business applications. On top of that, on-premise solutions are now designed to synchronize data to the cloud for better availability.
While the dependence on cloud services helps business scale at a faster rate, it also significantly increases the risk of data breaches. Without proper security measures, it is not hard for attackers to gain access to – and even gain control of – your cloud environment and start moving data to their own servers.
The use of Internet of Things (IoT) in business workflows adds an extra layer of risk to mitigate. IoT devices can be used to capture data in difficult situations. Internet-enabled devices let you put sensors, cameras, and other input devices in more places. You can be fully data-driven with the help of IoT devices.
However, few IoT devices are properly secured. Off-the-shelf security cameras that automatically feed video streams to the cloud are a classic case of IoT devices without enough protection. Many IP-based security cameras can be hacked or hijacked, which means attackers can use them to look into your business operations and sites.
Other technologies further increase the attack surface of your business. Team members using their own devices is another good example of risks worth managing; their devices may not run the latest operating system, presenting a bigger security risk to the rest of the network. The same is true with devices for teleconferencing.
Implications to Business Operations
When these risks are not mitigated properly, you risk harming your business. A data leak that involves consumer data can potentially bankrupt your business entirely. Users will also lose trust in your ability to store and manage their personal details. When your credibility and reputation are affected, recovering from a data leak becomes virtually impossible.
A damaged reputation isn’t the only implication of a data breach. When you operate in a regulated industry, data leaks could mean fines and lawsuits. Users have the right to sue you for the loss of data and your failure to protect their identity. The recent breach in Fairfax County shows that a data leak can affect even government entities.
It can indeed happen to anyone. Microsoft, a technology giant, recently dealt with a massive data breach on New Year’s Eve. Online chat records, customer details, and a wealth of other data – a whopping 250 million records in total – from the company’s customer support division was exposed due to an error in configuring the database server.
Yes, it was a simple error, but it was an error that has a significant impact on the company’s business. Microsoft’s shares plummeted for a while and customers started to doubt the company’s ability to keep their personal details safe. A thorough investigation was immediately launched to limit the negative effects of this breach.
The Microsoft data breach showed how negligence is an act of sabotage, especially when the thing you neglect to handle is information security. You are sabotaging your own business and its wellbeing. A similar breach in a smaller company will have more severe consequences to its business operations.
So, are you sabotaging your own business by neglecting information security? If the answer to this question is a YES, today is the day to start making changes. Don’t wait until an actual data breach puts you out of business. You can begin by implementing basic security measures such as hardening your cloud security and adding a proxy server as middleware.
Taking additional steps and installing more security measures are also recommended. Anti-virus cannot work alone. It needs anti-malware, a firewall, and other measures before it can fully protect your devices. The more comprehensive your security measures are, the more risks you can mitigate. Prevention is the best strategy here.
Otherwise, you are sabotaging your own livelihood. Take the necessary steps to protect business data from attackers lurking from every corner of the World Wide Web.