Seven steps small businesses can take to protect data

  • Alek Pirkhalo

    Alek Pirkhalo

By Alek Pirkhalo
Updated 8/23/2021 12:49 PM

According to the FBI's internet Crime Report, the cost of cybercrimes reached $2.7 billion in 2020 alone.

Unfortunately, many small businesses assume that their technology is protected and secure, but even those business owners that take accepted protective measures may be leaving data vulnerable.


Here are seven steps to take to protect your data.

1. Update your current technologies to protect logins

Anti-virus technology must be constantly updated to keep pace with the technologies used by those who seek to steal information or threaten practices with malware or ransomware. This includes upgrading to the next generation of AI (artificial intelligence)-based anti-virus software. AI-based anti-virus can make decisions based on what it learns or experiences and can evaluate network threats.

2. Integrate your data security with SOC

SOC, also known as a security operations center, combines people, technologies and processes to keep safeguard your network by receiving and analyzing reports regarding your information systems.

3. Discover the value of SIEM

Security Information and Event Management (SIEM), combines various cybersecurity tools to enable IT professionals to quickly identify and remediate threats. It creates behavioral analysis so breaches can be detected instantly while ensuring that all critical and high alerts are handled immediately.

4. Invest in 2FA

Second Factor Authentication is designed to prevent unauthorized users from gaining access to an account with nothing more than a stolen password. So if a password or personal identification number (PIN) is stolen, a code is sent to the user's email or smartphone to verify their identity.

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5. Put data on the cloud

Cloud-based IT infrastructure, including cloud-based apps, securely saves files by enhancing security and operational efficiency. You may not realize it, but if your cloud files are compromised, you may be required to delete all your files. Recovery can take days or even longer.

6. Strengthen security with a second backup

It is recommended that a business needs a second backup in the form of a real time local backup box system. Real-time data backup means that files are saved automatically making a backup copy of every change made to your Box files. It allows the Box admin to restore data (or create a snapshot of your system) to any point in time.

7. Supplement your IT staff with an MSP

Your IT staff can usually handle most security threats, but sometimes the threat -- especially ransomware -- can overwhelm the capabilities of your IT staff.

If that person is unavailable, the businesses' system can shut down for extended periods. That is when you need to have a relationship with a managed service provider (MSP), a company that remotely manages a customer's IT infrastructure and/or end-user systems, typically on a proactive basis and under a subscription model.

An MSP can also assist in training staff to recognize threats and vulnerabilities to the office's security system.

• Alek Pirkhalo is a partner at Infiniwiz, based in Palatine. The company provides comprehensive tech support and effective IT consulting including a full suite of managed IT services.

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