With the rise of digital and cloud, SMEs and SMIs should now consider the security of their data as a central point. However, they underestimate this aspect and are more and more victims of cyber attacks. This article reviews the different solutions and measures available to companies to better protect their sensitive data.
Claude-Vivien Toulouse, IT Department Manager & IT Architect at Darest Informatic (Source: Darest Informatic)
How can SMBs ensure the security of their data? It is difficult to answer this question with certainty. With the omnipresence of digital technology at all levels of organizations and mainly with the use of the Cloud, SMBs must adapt to this evolution. The main security concern for SMBs is the protection of their sensitive and confidential data from cyber attacks as they can be particularly vulnerable to hacker attacks due to their limited size and resources. SMBs should always consider security a focal point as cyber threats continue to evolve and become more sophisticated. The budgetary cost for data and system security depends on many factors, such as the size of the company, the complexity of its infrastructure and the security solutions chosen. It is important for SMBs to regularly assess their cyber risk exposure and allocate an adequate budget to maintain optimal security. Advanced security solutions, managed services and cloud computing also enhance data security while reducing costs.
Why do SMEs underestimate security?
When it comes to the security of their data, SMBs can face several issues that can affect their ability to maintain quality security. For example, some SMBs may not have enough financial resources to invest in tools and storage to monitor their security, while other SMBs may have a limited budget but still require quality security. In addition, some SMBs may lack information on how to start securing their data.
It is therefore crucial for SMBs to consider several issues when it comes to the security of their data, such as existing tools, appropriate security techniques, potential threats, IT systems, the environment in which they operate and budgetary costs. SMBs can benefit from the expertise of IT security experts to help them assess their current level of security, identify potential threats and implement appropriate security measures that meet their needs and budget. Ultimately, data security is critical to the survival and growth of SMBs, so it's important to take the necessary steps to ensure it.
The number of cyberattacks against Swiss companies increased by 61% in 2022, according to a recent study. The most common attacks were phishing and ransomware, and the most affected sectors were finance, utilities and manufacturing. IT security experts advise companies to strengthen their security by implementing measures such as using advanced security tools (adopting AI and machine learning to improve threat detection and response), training employees on IT security and implementing strict security policies.
It is also crucial that organizations regularly assess their level of exposure to cyber risk (Cloud or On-Premise). To meet this demand, customized audits and analysis should be offered to identify potential vulnerabilities in the company's IT infrastructure, as well as risks and threats across the network.
A basic solution to strengthening SMB data security is to use Microsoft 365 tools to improve productivity and efficiency. This comprehensive suite of applications offers a range of advanced features for security, device management and cloud computing through Azure, allowing businesses to benefit from integrated solutions for their daily work securely.
In view of the ever-increasing number of IT threats, small and medium-sized companies in Switzerland must now consider penetration tests (pentests) and security audits as a necessity. These assessments allow to identify vulnerabilities in IT infrastructures and to implement corrective measures to strengthen the security of systems. In addition, SMBs can leverage artificial intelligence (AI) based IT products to detect threats in real time. By monitoring network traffic and individual systems, these tools can identify anomalous activity, detect zero-day attacks and emerging threats, and respond to incidents quickly. Remote management solutions, such as remote monitoring and management (RMM) software, are also useful for gathering information about remote endpoints and networks. They help monitor device security against security breaches and quickly deploy patches to protect systems and data from cyber threats.
It is also essential that SMBs consider disaster recovery solutions, especially for those who cannot afford a business interruption. These solutions allow for the rapid restoration of IT systems in the event of a disaster, such as a hardware failure or a cyber attack. The importance of backups should not be overlooked, as they are the first line of defense in maintaining data integrity and availability. Small and medium-sized businesses can take advantage of the opportunities offered by the cloud, especially with regard to security and privacy. For example, hosting servers or data centers in Switzerland is an attractive option for companies looking for enhanced data protection. Swiss data protection and privacy laws are known to be among the strictest in the world, providing a secure environment for businesses. In addition, there are S3 storage-based backup solutions, which offer a secure and cost-effective way to store data. These services are usually offered by IT service providers who can also help SMBs choose the right backup and hosting solution for their needs and budget. In short, it is essential for SMBs to implement disaster recovery and data backup measures, while exploring the secure options offered by the cloud and hosting in Switzerland. This will not only ensure business continuity in the event of a disaster, but also reinforce the confidence of customers and partners in the company's ability to protect its data and systems.
By combining these different solutions, SMBs can implement a comprehensive security strategy to protect their data and infrastructure in close collaboration with their IT provider.
In order to prevent potential problems and optimize data management, it is important to ensure that the security system can be easily integrated with all tools and devices, and that monitoring is facilitated by reliable and regular analysis reports.
It is essential to work closely with both IT and IT security experts to regularly assess the level of exposure to cyber risk in order to put in place appropriate security measures that meet the needs and budget of the business.
Article ICT Journal / Charlotte Aymonier /May 2023 / © Darest Informatic SA 2022