Data Privacy and Security Basics for Small Businesses

Theft of data and breaches of security present significant challenges for businesses in today’s increasingly digital environment. According to a survey by Fundera, approximately half of all cyberattacks are directed toward small businesses, and a report by the same company found that sixty percent of small enterprises that have been the subject of an attack go out of business within a period of less than six months.

The manner that small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) handle data privacy and information technology security will need to be rethought in 2021. The following are some key considerations that might assist smaller organisations in rolling out their privacy and security infrastructures in an appropriate manner.

1) Instill a mindset that places an emphasis on safety first

An better security ecosystem is brought to life not by the machines themselves but by the interactions of humans with those machines. Training their staff and fostering a culture that prioritises security within their virtual workforce are two things that small firms absolutely must do. This includes, but is not limited to, obtaining and managing client data, implementing best practises in payment gateways, and establishing and storing strong passwords in a secure location.

The BitLocker and Advanced Threat Protection software capabilities found in Microsoft Office 365 allow for the encryption of data sharing and the detection of harmful emails and cyberattacks respectively. No matter what, the workers who use the programme have a responsibility to be aware of the repercussions of data theft.

2) Establish a secure communication network

The creation of an intranet that is based on safety, security, and protection parameters that can be measured can assist small organisations in growing exponentially without the worry of losing data. Using a virtual private network (VPN) and a browser designed with privacy in mind, such as Microsoft Edge, which comes equipped with ad blocker extensions, is the first step in the process. In addition, businesses that make use of an antivirus programme that protects their entire system, such as Microsoft Defender, will be better able to prevent malware and virus infections in the workplace.

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Two-factor authentication, or multi-factor authentication as Microsoft prefers to call it, is yet another important security feature (MFA). The two-step authentication technique eliminates the risk of data leaks while also strengthening the procedures for logging in and making payments.

3) Protect your devices

“Bring your own device” (BYOD) programmes are being enthusiastically adopted by smaller enterprises in order to broaden their device portfolios. Employees are given more independence and flexibility, which in turn improves their devotion to the brand. However, because most businesses do not extend their enterprise security procedures to mobile devices, there is a chance that data will be lost. Hackers are discovering new ways to take advantage of security vulnerabilities in response to the proliferation of mobile devices and wearables. Because of this, it is essential for small businesses to deploy mobile device management (MDM), which generates safe app and device ecosystems that are prepared for usage within the firm.

4) Establish a reliable method for backing up and recovering data.

Cyberattacks are more likely to be avoided by smaller businesses that make substantial investments in reliable database backup and recovery systems. Companies can reduce the impact of a cyberattack by adopting infrastructure that is hosted on the cloud, which allows for the smooth updating and backup of essential data. Cloud infrastructure as a service platforms like Microsoft Office 365 are excellent options for safe backup and recovery.

5) Be sure to have a security policy in place.

In the event of an emergency, data privacy and security policies that are well recorded should serve as a reliable resource for small enterprises. Microsoft 365 comes equipped with a plethora of measures that prevent the misuse of policies while adhering to protective frameworks such as GDPR. Working within the parameters of data privacy laws that are specific to industries and states not only makes for more efficient corporate operations but also results in increased levels of safety.

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Evangeline Christina is a Cyber Security Enthusiast, Security Blogger, Technical Editor, Certified Ethical Hacker, Author at Cyberspecial.net. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter in a reputed news agency.