Software, Technology

Small Firms Greatly Exposed To Data Risk

Data Security

The recent panic over the Heartbleed bug sent shudders down the spines of almost every small business across the country. Most online and small businesses were content thinking that their customer data was safe, but this happy thought was easily shattered by the Heartbleed bug. This tiny and seemingly trivial vulnerability inherently endangered two thirds of all websites across the World Wide Web.

Another great worry was that most small businesses were not even aware that they were affected. These businesses that stored data files with customer information used a common encryption technology designed to protect the data, but sadly that was not enough. Data security experts are of the opinion that small businesses further need to also apply mitigation in addition to encryption technologies.

Almost every small business finds it difficult to seek affordable and effective ways of maintaining mission-critical information safe from the prying eyes of cyber terrorists, hackers, malicious insiders and fraudsters. This daunting and difficult task for small firms has put many a decision maker in a quandary.

Today it is a given that poor data security can basically ruin any business, for instance the recent incident that compromised one of the largest internet exchanges in the world. Poor security infrastructure and weak data security measures brought down the Japanese Bitcoin exchange known as MtGox to a complete halt and bust it open.

According to the Federation Of Small Businesses in UK, unbridled cybercrime is gravely impeding the potential growth of its members. The hazards of online criminal activity and data theft, both actual and perceived, is costing every small business up to £ 5000 per year, while online criminal activity on the whole is costing the UK economy and estimated £ 28 billion a year, according to the Federation Of Small Businesses. The Federation revealed that over one third of its members have become victims of online criminal activity in 2013 alone, from a combination of virus attacks, hacking and inside data security breaches. In addition to the loss in investments, financial instability and general inconvenience, there is the potentially calamitous loss of customer trust to be dealt with as well.

In spite of the vital significance of data security, a large number of small businesses are almost oblivious to the dangers surrounding online criminal activity. A recent survey conducted by a leading security software firm reported that a huge amount of information loss takes place because of basic human error, sloppiness and negligence. The report further revealed that many of these businesses were more bothered with presenting a tidy upfront and sprucing up their physical infrastructure aesthetics rather than investing in data security or backing up data. Over 45% of UK small businesses and 55% of US small businesses reported that they spent more time in constantly changing their passwords rather than backing up their data.

It is extremely vital that small businesses protect their classified information against virus attacks, malware and natural calamities, in addition to maintaining their information from careless or disgruntled employees. It is important to note that if decision-makers and senior management within the business do not appreciate the need to safeguard their organisational data, the entire future of the business could be on the line.

Encryption solutions and PDF DRM protection software from LockLizard can protect your most valuable information, making absolutely certain that the data is safe, no matter where it goes.

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Jo Fletcher is expert in the field of document security. She has shared many articles related to PDF security, PDF DRM, Digital Rights Management and document security software.

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