Data breach threats are growing exponentially; even the small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are now in danger, and are most likely to suffer more than the big enterprises. According to UPS Capital, “60% of smaller businesses are out of business within six months of suffering a cyberattack.” Despite the potential catastrophe due to data breaches, preventing it is challenging for the SMBs. First of all, SMBs have relatively less budget and resources for investment. Second, they do not consider themselves as the targets of data breaches, despite the tendency that cybercriminals tend to take the path of least resistance. Simply put, SMBs are left unaware of and vulnerable to data breach threats that can sink businesses outright in extreme cases.
Due to the ever-growing number of data breach threats, we see a variety of enterprise-targeted, complex solutions like data loss prevention (DLP), enterprise digital rights management (EDRM), user and entity behavior analysis (UEBA), and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult for SMBs to implement these types of solutions due to high cost and resource requirements for purchase, deployment, and operation. Having found the demand for solutions tailored for SMBs, some solutions vendors provide similar solutions that are less expensive. However, these solutions are still complex to operate and requires dedicated personnel to manage them effectively. Therefore, SMBs need a new concept of data protection with appropriate practices, which will suit their limited budget and resources.
Practice 1) Treating all relevant data and files as one entity, rather than classifying them by the degree of importance or confidentiality
Understanding this practice is the primary goal to set up cost-effective data protection for the SMBs, as all relevant data, whether confidential or not, is unstructured. This means that all relevant data resides anywhere in the files that are being used daily at multiple endpoints. Therefore, SMBs must first consolidate all its data into a system of data repositories, which require physical and network isolation to prevent physical harm and Internet-based threats, respectively. It is all about reducing the number of exit points from which confidential data can be leaked since SMBs will only have to protect data repositories, rather than tens and hundreds of endpoint PCs.
Practice 2) Protecting consolidated data with solutions that provide not only simple operation but also continued productivity for both administrators and employees
Limited resources for SMBs mean that they have less leeway in hiring or assigning time and personnel to implement and manage solutions on a regular basis. Therefore, quick and easy implementation, along with thorough training for operation is important for the administrator. For employees, the solutions must not interfere them from sharing and working with the protected data and files. If the data protection solution goes as far as hindering business productivity of the employees, it may cause more discomfort than the sense of relief.
Practice 3) Acknowledging that data breach threats arise from both inside and out
Data breach threats are no longer about outside-in; according to IBM, 60% of attacks are carried out by those who have insider access. Effective data protection is all about considering both inside and out; threats like hackers, phishing, and ransomware are from outside, while inside threats include malicious and accidental data leaks by the employees. It is crucial that all relevant data is protected while in use, and in motion by regulating what each employee can do and by monitoring what is happening at file and user level.
Naturally, SMBs have less freedom of budget and resources to run their businesses efficiently, and this constraint makes it difficult to find the right ways to protect their data from being breached by ever-growing threats from both inside and out. Blending data consolidation and protection helps SMBs to achieve the primary stage of complete data protection effectively and efficiently. With added protection against data breach from inside and out, SMBs can cap off the implementation and operation of data protection that delivers cost-efficiency and effectiveness to suit their limited budget and resources.
To learn how Secudrive solutions help SMBs protect their important data from being breached from internal and external threats, please read our next blog!