Data Mismanagement Can Leave SMBs Vulnerable

Protecting data is crucial to the health and vitality of small and medium-sized businesses, but there are many factors that can put sensitive data at risk. One is data management, or the myriad ways that files are stored, shared and accessed. For businesses without a clear, consistent policy concerning data management, important information can become inaccessible to the people who need it most, or worse yet, easily available to unauthorized viewers.

A recent survey of IT managers in US and UK businesses conducted by security analysts at Freeform Dynamics indicated that access control policies (or lack thereof) is a top functionality concern. Of the 300 respondents, 93 percent said that they have experienced struggles in appropriately provisioning access to sensitive corporate information. Eighty-two percent of respondents said that data availability issues will make decision-making that much more difficult, while 77 percent stated that data inconsistency will have a similar result. Eighty-three percent of respondents recognized imminent security risks, if not already experiencing them, while 84 percent said that it is difficult to contain rising data storage costs.

Where Are the Data Risks?
The amount of data that many businesses use and interact with on an everyday basis can present problems for business PC performance. Curtis Levinson, a US cybersecurity advisor to NATO, recently spoke to the inherent issues of the data supply chain at a recent IT security conference in Toronto, reported IT Business Canada. Thinking of data as being part of a supply chain can paint a clearer picture of all of the different hands and networks it passes through, and the many opportunities at which it can be compromised to affect business users down the line.

“Everyone has a supply chain for everything,” said Levinson at the conference. “When you order a hamburger, and the burger is on your plate, there is a supply chain that led to that burger being on your plate. Most of us don’t want to think about it, but if someone wanted to poison the food supply, they could go all the way back up to the supply chain to the feed the cow was given and put mercury in the cattle feed.”

Several points on the data supply chain can be made vulnerable. Gathered data could have been already compromised, with malicious aspects that aren’t clear until the information has already been assimilated. An offsite data center could be breached, or an integrated service like the cloud infiltrated by sophisticated cyberthreats. Any time data is transferred between network endpoints, it’s possible that hackers could swipe it in transit. Additionally, users could inadvertently or purposely contribute to a data leak. IT security professionals at the conference discussed the data supply chain and the importance of comprehensive security measures. Even for traditionally careful organizations, a ‘gut feeling’ approach might not be sufficient to keeping data protected as opportunities for successful threats on it increase.

A PC security solution that uses both signature-based reactive and behavior-based proactive detection strategies will work best to protect your computer and help you navigate through the data supply chain smoothly. System Mechanic Pro offers a security solution that combines both strategies to build two lines of defense to stop known threats and build a general sense of whether a given file intends to harm your computer. In addition to the award-winning AV System Shield, System Mechanic Pro gives you the full suite of PC optimization tools found in System Mechanic.

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Data Mismanagement Can Leave SMBs Vulnerable