One of the most dangerous things for small business owners to think is, "We're not big enough for cyber attackers." With 48 million cyber security incidents in 2014 alone, the reality is no business is immune to attacks, regardless of its size.
Government legislation and high-profile data breaches are driving an increase in IT spend globally, but for SMBs with limited IT teams and resources, preventing cyber attacks may seem impossible. That's why it is critical for SMBs to invest in the right security solutions.
The growing threat to SMBs
Data breaches can have a major impact on business, whether it's through the loss of valuable IP or consumers' confidence, and SMBs are starting to take action. A recent survey by SurePayroll found 60% of small business owners have taken extra precautions because of cybersecurity concerns. That includes both preventative measures, such as firewalls and multi-factor authentication; and internal measures, including encrypted emails.
The survey found the overwhelming majority of small business owners (85%) were even willing to inconvenience their customers if it meant better protecting them as they used the company's products, services or websites.
But what if security didn't have to be complicated and cumbersome?
Security solutions need to be built for business, not IT. They need to integrate with existing systems and be simple for just about anyone to use.
That's the idea behind Azure partner Dekko Secure. We have developed a solution that offers businesses end-to-end security for email, real-time chat and document storage, allowing them to exchange messages and documents with complete privacy and security. As it integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Office, Dekko gives power back to its users while also providing them the maximum possible security. With several layers of encryption based on private keys, Dekko offers end-to-end encryption of everything, no matter what network it's operating in or how determined the hacker.
Businesses of any size can benefit from complete security and privacy, whether they're discussing a new product in development, a marketing strategy or a big acquisition. With Dekko, there are no backdoors and the encryption and decryption process occurs only on the user's device, so no one can see user's data.
Plotting the Right Security Strategy
In today's security climate, it is no longer a matter of if an attack will occur, but when. In addition to utilizing Dekko's encryption-based solution, here are three key tips for SMBs looking to protect what is most important to their business:
1. Think beyond preventative measures
Relying solely on traditional preventative safeguards such as firewalls just won't cut it with today's cyber threats. Encrypting the data that's most important to your business is a more effective strategy for the long term, particularly as your business grows. Solutions that utilize strong encryption minimize the business risk in the event of a cyber attack and decrease the likelihood and severity of insider attacks and accidents by employees.
2. Don't settle for partial solutions
Accessing your work email is a very risky proposition when connecting to the Internet outside of your work environment. Solutions such as VPNs are a common remedy for businesses that need to connect while on the go, but they do not provide end-to-end security. How do you know the email you received wasn't sent by somebody else, or that the IT guys are reading or even modifying the message? Solutions need to offer end-to-end security to prevent gaps and vulnerabilities.
3. Don't let users go anonymous
There is a difference between privacy and anonymity. Solutions that promise security through anonymity expose your business to additional issues, such as identity fraud and make audits more difficult. Businesses need the assurance that messages are from a trusted source. Solutions that offer unique digital signatures and multi-factor authentication confirm the content has not been altered and that the person logging on is really who they say they are.
written by Eric Schwantler, published on Microsoft Channel 9 Guest Post Blog.