Today, as the amount and importance of digital data continue to grow, SMEs around the world are increasingly affected by the rapidly changing Information Technology environment and IT security awareness. While problems often focus on data theft, hacking of sensitive systems, and other adverse events of large companies, SMEs can also be targets of such attacks. . Security challenges are the same regardless of the size of the organization. However, SMEs are often very limited in terms of capital available to establish appropriate security precautions. In this Tech Town article, learn about common IT risks SMEs can face and how to address them.
The most common IT risks SMEs can face
- Human error: Accidental deletion of data, failure to back up, accident or unintentional carelessness.
- Harmful intent: The destruction of property, virus or malware intrusion, theft, or internal sabotage.
- Technological failures and natural disasters.
SMEs may be less susceptible to cyberattacks, but are more at risk, such as infection with a crippling virus and being attacked by malware designed to find vulnerabilities in the network. websites and LANs. When an SME is attacked, whether frequent or not, cyber criminals are using them as a platform to attack other companies, which may be SME customers. The personnel of SMEs poses a higher risk related to internal data breaches, followed by personnel at large enterprises as more resources are invested in monitoring breaches in the country. multiple levels of data access and security.
It should be noted that SMEs are subject to the same legal risks as large companies. They are all equally required to comply with local and federal laws and regulations regarding the privacy of personal data, data security, and record-keeping or processing… SMEs often have few resources to appropriately and effectively manage these requirements compared to larger companies that have dedicated staff to monitor and reduce compliance risks.
If your business falls under the SME category, what can you do to reasonably address these issues with limited resources? Here are some ideas Tech Town recommends for your business.
Assess the situation objectively
We often have to take our vehicle in for scheduled maintenance to ensure basic functions work as expected. Similar to IT, your business should evaluate the overall health of its IT systems and data security annually, which is considered a best practice. If your business doesn’t have the expertise to conduct these annual reviews, or if you just want an independent audit, seek outside support from experts in the field.
Clear and simple SOPs
HR in SME organizations is often tasked with handling multiple tasks and often needs clear, simple standard operating procedures to handle the requirements of the job. Owners and CEOs of companies will have to draft SOPs for employee performance. This process doesn’t need to be overly complicated, but it should clearly state what is expected and what rules are used for company assets, such as not using company email for personal matters, to help reduce risk. risk for IT. Similarly, the risk posed by employees installing programs on company computers can easily be avoided by instituting simple IT rules to prohibit such activities, such as in the implementation of controls that limit administrator access privileges.
Creating a risk awareness culture
“A chain is no stronger than its weakest link”, a weak link affects the whole, and it is important to educate and engage employees regularly on IT security. Focusing on items like data security, and how data is collected and connected to other data sources during the month/year, will help people expand their knowledge and understanding of the topic. Picking a different theme for the next month will further grow the knowledge cycle within the organization – small, medium, and large. SMEs need to make IT security a regular topic of staff meetings and provide visual support to meetings to reinforce experience on IT security topics. Workshops, conferences, or even partnering with a consulting firm are trusted resources to help employees improve their IT security knowledge.
Remove redundant data and outsource the activity
Many SMEs leave themselves vulnerable by not deleting data they no longer need to save. Cybercriminals can steal or misuse old data, so SMEs should minimize the information security risks associated with data storage by deleting redundant data regularly. Another great way to dramatically enhance IT operations and security is to outsource hardware and software resources and keep only minimal user hardware on-site for your organization to monitor.
Applying a Proven Success Formula
A proven, simple, and effective template for success is to learn and use best practices that have been discovered and developed over the years. The International Standards produced and available by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a proven recipe for success. ISO international standards are as relevant to SMEs as they are to larger companies, as they address size constraints related to complexity and resources. The most famous standard for IT security is ISO/IEC 27001: 2013 – which provides best practice requirements and controls for information security management systems (ISMS). SMEs can and should use this standard to overcome the complexities of IT security. This standard is very reasonable for SMEs.
Tech Town hopes the information brought will be useful for your business.
Tech Town is a technology company from Vietnam, with representative offices in the United States, Japan, Canada, and the Netherlands,… As a reputable technology partner, specializing in implementing software development projects Customization, website design, and application development with the application of the most modern technology techniques such as AI, Machine Learning, Blockchain… For more than 5 years of operation, Tech Town has become a reputable IT outsourcing partner. trusted by SMEs and enterprises in the fields of EdTech, FinTech, and E-commerce,… from many countries around the world such as the US, Canada, the Netherlands, Japan, the UK and other developed countries.
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