When it comes to a company’s assets, perhaps one of the most important is their data. This can mean crucial information that a company needs to keep their operations up and running or even just any data on customers that they happen to keep. Such is the importance of data that Marketwatch estimates the industry will soon be worth the equivalent of £95 billion by 2022. This is due to factors such as enhanced business efficiencies and rapid growth in available consumer data.

An article by Infosys president Ravi Kumar points outs that a rapid rise in the amount of precious data out there only exacerbates the need for security infrastructure that can sufficiently protect it. This is because an increase in available data only gives cybercriminals a much larger attack surface. In fact, Verizon Connect’s Simon Austin-Beckett describes how an estimated 90% of all data currently in existence has been created over the past few years. This aspect further emphasises the need for security technology to catch up.

One possible solution, which we covered here on Cyber Security Association in the past, is finding the right business partner. A partnership gives you access to new technologies and can infuse your company with fresh new ideas. Concerning cybersecurity for businesses, this can mean having the latest technology- – which can mean the difference between proper protection and vulnerability.

Fortunately, that isn’t the only solution out there.

Keep track of the kind of data your company keeps

This means being aware of whether your company houses any data that could be lucrative to hackers like credit card info. Once this has been identified, Chron’s rundown on securing company data advises that you should also be aware of who has access to it and how. This may mean doing a thorough inventory and checking of laptops, flash drives, cell phones, etc. that could be an access point for said info.

Update the software you already have

One upside to today’s security software is that many of them are already capable of automatically connecting and updating to defend against known risks. Some even have an option for automatic updates.

Yet, some organisations are still slow to update. In the healthcare industry, hospitals have been known to keep outdated security systems despite the wealth of confidential medical data they hold. As a result, ransomware attacks like the WannaCry cyber-attack cost the NHS a total of £92 million, with £19 million being lost as a result of lost output and £73 million in IT costs. Furthermore, another £72 million was spent just to restore systems and data after the attack. Though NHS Digital’s chief information officer has outlined 22 recommendations for increasing the health service’s security, the damage dealt may be irreversible.

Don’t underestimate the threat

In a guide by Small Business Trends on keeping data safe, they point out that 85% of small enterprise owners believe larger enterprises are targeted more frequently.

But the truth is that smaller companies are bigger targets for hackers simply because they don’t invest in nearly as many IT resources. They’re also more attractive if they serve as third-party providers for bigger companies. Remember, that regardless of the size of the company, there are four key elements to data security, which include physical security (locked cabinets), electronic security (firewalls, etc.), employee training (best practices and awareness) and the security of third party contractors (data security when outsourcing). Thus, it’s worth noting that investing in data security doesn’t necessarily have to break the bank- -sometimes basic security software and due diligence like the tips above will do the job.

Article specially written for cybersecurityassociation.co.uk

By Jasmin Fowler