Data loss prevention is an essential part of a small business’ cybersecurity planning because it focuses on protecting company data from outside threats, strategically organizing it internally, and training employees to handle business data with the care that it needs. Even in a small business, data moves between employees and clients swiftly, and with poor data loss prevention standards in place, a company could lose important information or accidentally leak it outside the company.
Small Businesses Need Data Loss Prevention
The most obvious reason that small businesses should care about data loss prevention is that it will help keep your network safe from malicious actors. A small business will often not have the IT infrastructure and resources necessary to recover from losing a large amount of critical data, so it essential that they keep their network safe. However, having strong data protections in place can also help a small business secure contracts with the government when they meet certain compliances, and clients will be more likely to trust a company that has invested into preventing data loss.
How do Businesses Lose Data?
The biggest threat to your data will always be outside attackers trying to steal it or encrypt it with ransomware, so strong data loss prevention policies will include the security tools necessary to defend against outside threats. Internal practices can also cause data to be misplaced or lost. For example, if a business does not have a secured database or cloud network that houses their information, then a single computer having its hard drive broken can lead to irrecoverable data loss. Also, if employees are not careful with how they send and receive sensitive information, then proprietary material may end up in an email inbox or on a third party site where it does not belong.
Preventing Data Loss
A strong set of data loss prevention policies will include a layered approach to cybersecurity that keeps all employee accounts protected with multifactor authentication, endpoint protection, and a next-generation firewall. All employees should also have the cybersecurity training necessary to identify and report phishing attacks. Internally, companies should train employees on the best practices for handling and storing sensitive information. Any data that your company does not want to lose should have a backup, and growing companies should consider working with an IT consultant to get the right advice on how to securely scale up their data storage and communication infrastructure.
Every business owner should be thinking about data loss prevention, and small business owners should begin implementing protections for their data as early as possible. The last thing a small business needs is operations grinding to a halt because one employee’s laptop breaks in a way that makes data recovery impossible. Our team here at Robinett Consulting knows that getting a head start on cybersecurity can be difficult for small businesses, and that’s why our security specialists are always ready to learn how we can provide you the right tools at the right price.