Why Small Businesses Need IT Security and Compliance

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Cyber attackers do not discriminate. They attack large multi-million companies as well as small-to-medium-sized businesses. There is no line drawn to those susceptible to an attack, everyone is easily a target. But small businesses without a fully integrated IT Security and Compliance system are sadly easier for cyber attackers to take down.

IT Security and Compliance involves comprehensive protection to the company’s assets. This includes all important information, the database, as well as business processes that are accessed by employees on a regular basis. It is fundamental that business security measures also adhere to internationally mandated standards and regulations such as the PCI-DSS and GDPR. Non-compliance to these rules can incur huge penalties ranging from $5,000-$100,000 per month for PCI-DSS, and up to €20 million, or 4 percent annual global turnover for GDPR. 

When your company has a strong IT security, you are protecting your assets and your clientele. A data breach can inflict severe damages that often result in small companies’ closing down. Hiscox study showed that about “65% of small businesses have failed to act following a cyber security incident.” This is because they are just completely unprepared for the incident. They didn’t have proper cybersecurity training, any strong strategies to protect their system, and cyber insurance policies.

Aside from the monetary loss, there is a reputational risk too that is very hard to mitigate especially for small businesses. More importantly, confidential information on employees and clients are at stake. A lot of people within and outside the company can be negatively affected by a single cyber attack.

So, rather than risking the entire company, it’s best to invest in solutions that provide either or both IT security and compliance. As written by Mathieu Chevalier, a software developer with expertise on cyber security, “Prevention and detection are the best ways to avoid the costs associated with a system breach, including clean-up, loss of data and potential fines.” 

When it comes to basic IT security policy, Infosec provided a general checklist that includes the following:

  • Authorized access to information
  • Company-wide compliance with best practices in information security
  • Well-educated staff and clients who understand the critical risks of the software
  • Proper handling of waste information 
  • Secured information delivery
  • Compliance monitoring and auditing 

Moreover, some globally defined policies concerning Information Governance, Data Protection, and Information Incident Management and Report Procedures can also be very helpful to be adapted and included in the company’s own set of policies. 

We are living in the age of information and a lot of businesses thrive in the competition because of the quality of information they have. It’s only natural, therefore, to put primary importance to this asset.