Despite the lack of resources and funding, small and medium-sized businesses achieve high efficiency by utilizing applications for project management, sales, and customer service. However, with customer data being a critical component of these solutions, are businesses effectively securing them from constantly evolving digital risks? According to the Kaspersky Lab report in 2017, almost half (42%) of small and medium-sized businesses experienced at least one data breach, even though the majority (72%) believed they were adequately protected against such incidents.

The organisations be able to continue their work

To stay active, small organisations need to keep up with their competitors and develop new products or services quickly. The use of digital tools helps to achieve this - to enable collaboration, project management and planning, and customer interaction. To be successful, the tools must work properly and be accessible to every employee who needs them. This is why companies strive to maintain continuity in these critical business processes. Indeed, when it comes to IT security, one of the main concerns for 40% of businesses is the loss of access to internal and customer-facing services.

Are businesses really prepared for a data breach?

In addition to access to services, the data that underpins them is an important part of sales and planning, including analytics and customer insights. According to the survey, most businesses (94%) store financial reports as well as personal customer data - such as account numbers (80%) and bank card data (78%) - on employee devices, internal servers and in public clouds.

However, this abundance of data also implies an increased risk of a breach. While it seems that organisations are ready for this - 72% of SMEs are confident that they are well or fully equipped in terms of data protection - this sense of security seems to be overstated. In 2017, 42% of SMBs suffered at least one incident affecting data security, with over a quarter (27%) of companies having suffered between two and five breaches.

In more than 40% of cases it was customer personal data stored in the organisation that was affected as a result of these incidents.

«Digital transformation gives small and medium-sized enterprises new opportunities for growth. Collaboration services and other digital applications can have a huge impact on efficiency and long-term business success. But to ensure that they do not add a layer of vulnerability and risk to the organization, they can be used as a tool(Command andit's vital that we think about their security and the data they hold. As IT infrastructures become more complex, businesses can lose control of their data. To avoid the increase the number of organisations that fall victim to accidental breaches or planned attacks, security of the InformationTechnology sector must become equally important.or success as muchthe financial ,ch legal and personal parameters commented», Sergey Martsynkyan, Head of B2B Product Marketing at Kaspersky Lab.

The following measures will help companies keep data and available applications secure so that employees can focus on their core business activities:

  • Make sure someone is responsible for the IT infrastructure and data security. This can be an employee from the IT department or an external partner.
  • With conventional malware infection (51%) being the most common IT security incident, reduce the risk of it happening to you by educating employees. Explain that they should not open emails from unknown senders, download programs from unauthorized sources, or use unselected USB media when working with sensitive data.
  • Loss of devices or storage media (45%) is the second most common type of incident, so it is essential to use encryption to ensure that critical data is not lost when a device goes missing.
  • Regularly check and install software updates and patches on all devices.
  • If employees use cloud-based storage and tools, including databases, make sure these services are trusted. It's best to limit use to a few authorized providers.
  • Remember: the responsibility for the security of corporate data always rests with the organisation, even if the data is stored in a public cloud or a cloud application. Providers will ensure the security of the entire cloud environment, but they do not guarantee the security of your data.

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