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Data Security – Ignorance is not Bliss

Having listened to radio reports this morning about how businesses perceive the security of the data they hold, and how most feel they are providing good levels of security, I just had to release our hands-on views of todays business environment.

Recent observations by Titan Atlas depict a very serious lack of understanding and indeed disregard for data security by small and medium enterprises and also some of the large ones.

The risks presented to any business that has allowed even one employee open access to the internet, is immense, fact. The threats are the increased opportunities for infection by malware and/or virus and even hacking. At best, you can expect that particular computer to suffer file system damage of some description. However, at worst the infection can spread to the other computers on your office network and file servers opening up the possibility of bringing your office systems to a complete stand-still and parting with yours and your customers business and personal data including passwords, bank account access details, and credentials, etc. and handing them over to a malicious third party.

In essence it’s an age old problem really and one that has become more dangerous over time, but people are not learning from their past mistakes and those mistakes made by others. This is the very reason we are being stalked by the hijackers. They do it because they can, and we make it easy for them. At the end of the day and to put it very bluntly, you chose to introduce a computer into your business but the chances are you neglected to consider everything else that goes with it!

I don’t believe for one minute that any computer network large or small is beyond attack in some form of way, but there are things that we all need to be doing but are not. A free Anti-Virus package is not sufficient on it’s own. There are several good free packages out there but require payment if used for business purposes.

Maybe you have never suffered any kind of malicious attack and therefore feel that you are doing everything you should be doing, but this is highly unlikely. CEO’s, IT Managers, IT Directors and the like often do not consider all of the implications of data security and sometimes some of the ‘holes’ in their systems are so obvious that they have neglected to see them.

Business managers and directors are also often to blame for the risks introduced to theirs and their customers data simply by not understanding or not wanting to understand the implications of not providing sufficient protection.

It is not simply a matter of puchasing a software product off the shelf and installing it on your laptop and hey presto everything is all protected. That just isn’t enough, period.
Some of the solutions may well cost you a bit of money, and some solutions will not cost anything, but remember, you decided to invest in and store your data and customer data on a computer however large or small it may be. Your responsibility is to maintain the integrity of that data by providing whatever resources are required. Of course, you can always go back to pen and paper and discard your computers, but even that route is not as secure as it may once have been.

Hey, having experienced related scenarios with many small and some huge international corporates, I could go on for hours on the subject, but I won’t. What I will do is urge you to consider the chances are extremely high that you are putting your business and your customers data at serious risk. You must sit down with an IT professional and discuss what you have by the way of data, what you are currently doing to protect it, and what pro-active steps you are taking on a very regular basis to monitor the effectiveness of what you are doing.

We can help you through this. Understandably many smaller business do not know where to start on this subject. Please, visit our website and bite the bullet, give us a call. The current climate is not one whereby you would wish to spend money on what is effectively an insurance policy, but believe me the fiscal penalties/fines incurred by not protecting your data could be crippling to your business, and that’s not to mention the cost of loss of work time lost through unnecessary computer repairs and server maintenance.

For more information on data protection and your responsibilities as a business owner, please visit the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) website at www.ico.gov.uk

Confused? You won’t be, call 01536 738297 and visit www.titanatlas.co.uk

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