June 25, 2019

Four Steps To Protect Your Company From Small Business Data Breaches

Small business data breaches and the theft of proprietary information is becoming all too common in the 21st century. An ongoing goal of Zephyr Networks is to reduce data anxiety among small business owners by improving cyber security. In today’s modern world, data breaches and stolen intellectual property can sink a once successful company. By providing adequate resources to properly manage information security and emphasizing the safety of our data center services, Zephyr Networks can help.

Beware Small Business Data Breaches

small business data breaches

Protect Your Company From Small Business Data Breaches

The simple truth is that the threat of a data breach is an increasingly widespread problem for businesses of all sizes. In 2015, the Anthem data breach opened the door to 80 million patient and employee records, potentially exposing names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, email addresses, employment information and income data.

The 2015 Experian data breach led to information exposure for 15 million T-Mobile customers. Yet, despite these big company threats, small business data breaches remain the most prevalent. A Ponemon Institute survey found that 55 percent of small businesses have had at least one data breach and 53% of those companies had multiple small business data breaches.

Although many company owners are aware of the risks of small business data breaches, they believe that they do not have proper financial and human resources to effectively protect their company. Zephyr Networks want you to know that this is not the case. As Zephyr’s founder Marc Winger explains, “We have learned over time how to tailor our services to meet the needs of each specific client. By understanding a company’s resources and data security needs, in the vast majority of cases, we can design a package of valuable services that makes sense.”

Zephyr Networks Can Help Your Business

Below are four steps that a company can take to avoid small business data breaches and protect proprietary information. While working with Zephyr Networks can help make these initial steps operate more smoothly, guaranteeing long-term reliability, many also can be taken independently. Ultimately, the focus should be on spending a little today to avoid the huge costs and tremendous demands brought on by small business data breaches.

How To Protect Your Company From Small Business Data Breaches

1. Encrypt All Electronic Devices

With the increasingly mobile workplace, people can access the information they need remotely. Such remote access means company information may be exposed to greater security vulnerabilities. Encrypting all electronic devices is an important first step in securing information. All electronic devices used by employees should be encrypted to protect confidential company information regardless of whether employees use their own devices or devices provided through the company. In the event that electronic devices are lost, stolen or compromised, encryption will protect the information stored on the device and mitigate any compromising activity. Zephyr Networks can help your small business with the institution of this protocol.

2. Institute a Password-Protected and Clean-Desk Policy

Every employer device, whether desktop or mobile, should be password-protected. In addition, a clean-desk policy encourages employees to clear their desks and lock documents in a filing cabinet or storage unit when they step away from their workstation at the end of each work day or for an extended period during the day. Zephyr Networks believes the clean-desk policy also implies clean cyberspace where applications are closed, social networks logged off and documents protected. A combination of a password-protected and clean-desk policy ensures that all confidential data is secure, both in the office and in cyberspace.

3. Protect Printing Stations

Your small business needs to institute a best practices standard for the handling and printing of confidential information. Employees and staff should not leave documents unattended at a shared printing station. To strengthen security around printing stations, consider using passwords for printing jobs that identify each employee. Such password protection also can help detail the amount being spent by both employees and departments on printing, avoiding excessive outlays of resources.

4. Designate a Cyber Security Representative

40% of small business owners report having no employee directly responsible for managing data security and cyber security. When you work with Zephyr Networks, you can have a specific employee liaison with our company. In addition, your Zephyr account manager will know and understand the details of your work with our company. If you have a problem or a question, we are one phone call, one text message or one email away from a quick response. While senior management and leadership should play a vital role in mitigating data breaches, a Cyber Security Representative can handle the day-to-day management.

Ongoing Protection From Small Business Data Breaches

As small business owners, you need the freedom to focus on your business and not on data anxiety and help mitigate information security risks. In addition to these easy and cost-effective tips, businesses should consider planning and implementing a comprehensive information security approach for the long-term. This is where we can help. Please call (800) 884-7559 to learn more about how Zephyr Networks can help protect your company from small business data breaches.

5 Data Security Questions To Ask A Cloud Vendor

cloud vendor, data security

Data Security in the Clouds

Do you know the data security questions you should ask a cloud vendor? Zephyr Networks understands how important it is for a company to be able to trust a cloud vendor. When you are allowing an external party to safeguard the essential data and proprietary information that forms the backbone of your business, you need to be confident in their capabilities. Although not comprehensive, the 5 data security questions below can help any business validate whether or not they want to work with a potential new cloud vendor.

5 Data Security Questions To Ask A Cloud Vendor

1) Does the cloud vendor implement controls to segregate your data from other client companies?

Since cloud vendors tend to base their business on a multi-client model, the addition of other companies opens the door to a greater possibility of attack. If a multi-client server is not properly secured, a flaw in one client application could allow an attacker access to your company’s data. This is why it is essential for each client company to be safely segregated from the others on any cloud-based server.

2) Does the cloud vendor regularly encrypt and test its backups?

If a cloud vendor does not test its backups on a regular basis and update the necessary encryption, such backups are theoretically useless. Cloud-computing server backups need to be regularly tested, monitored and encrypted with the latest data security updates.

3) Does the cloud vendor have a reliable disaster recovery and business continuity plan for its data housing server sites?

When it comes to data recovery plans and business continuity strategies, your company cannot take a chance in the internet age of 24-hour business opportunities. Make sure any cloud vendor your company chooses to work with has a reliable disaster recovery and business continuity plan to ensure the safety of your data.

4) Does the cloud vendor follow data destruction processes for computer equipment and storage devices that ensures the zeroing out of all confidential information?

Before you enter into an agreement with a cloud vendor, ask them about their data destruction process. Do they take all the necessary steps to zero out confidential information on decommissioned computer equipment and storage devices? If you move on later, will your confidential information be thoroughly wiped from their servers?

5) Can the cloud vendor provide relevant certificates and applicable compliance certifications?

There is a vast array of compliance certifications for cloud vendors that include the following; ITIL, COBIT, ISO 2700, and many more. If a cloud vendor claims to be in such compliance, ask them to show you the relevant certificates and applicable compliance certifications? If they can’t do this, there most likely is a problem.

Cloud Vendor Relationship Managed

As a proponent of cloud-based solutions, Zephyr Networks has the experience needed by our clients to secure and ensure their valuable company data. We consistently negotiate and manage a client’s relationship with a cloud vendor.  To learn more about how we can help you with cloud-based storage, data security and network security solutions, please call Zephyr Networks toll free at (800) 884-7559 or fill out our handy contact form.