SMBs need to consider data breach preparedness

SMBs need to consider data breach preparedness

Companies of any type and size can suffer data breaches. The modern, heavily digital infrastructure means that small companies can store important information and that attackers now have a standard method of attempting to break in and seize information.

Though the media attention is always greatest for large-scale and high-profile data breaches, small events are also critical, according to a recent InformationWeek overview. The source asked Online Trust Alliance President Craig Spiezle for suggestions regarding small to medium-sized business IT security.

SMB tips

General preparedness is critical to counter the threat of data loss, according to Spiezle. The assumption that a business is too small to fall prey to hackers could lead to trouble and a muddled response. Spiezle told InformationWeek that firms should know in advance who to inform of a data breach, making sure to cover all regulatory compliance bases.

Spiezle specified that companies' IT responses should include the text of the data breach notification, as officials can craft a far better response hypothetically beforehand than when dealing with the confusion and time constraints following a security failure.

"If [SMBs] collect sensitive data, they need to face the inevitable fact that they will have a data-loss incident, whether that's a breach, a lost USB stick or a stolen computer," he said.

Dangerous environment

Preparation for data loss events could involve everything from in-house planning to managed security services. Having some sort of well-developed plan is the vital link between all acceptable strategies. Both the amount of data in danger and the severity of responses from industry monitors are increasing. According to Computer Business Review, the U.K. Information Commissioner's Office has increased its activities, coming down hard on firms with inadequate data protection plans in place. Firms with poor security readiness that suffer an attack could face trouble from regulators and their own worried customers.