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News

IT Governance guide to avoiding security breaches in small businesses

IT Governance : 10 July, 2008  (New Product)
Ten step security breach avoidance guide written in language that small business operators will understand
In the middle of the credit crunch, the last thing small to mid-size companies need is a computer or data security disaster getting in the way of winning or holding on to business. The fact is that, today, small companies are just as exposed to computer security breaches (whether loss, fraud, theft, automated hacking attack or sophisticated blended phishing or spam attacks) as larger ones, and with the average cost of a security breach somewhere between £10k and £20k, it's an exposure that smaller organisations can no longer afford. As smaller companies typically have fewer resources available to support a quick recovery from these disasters, the 'prevention is better than cure' imperative is even more important for them than for their bigger competitors.

The good news is that business owners and managers can protect themselves from such dangers, allowing them to concentrate their efforts on getting their businesses through the downturn, by following the clear advice in independent compliance expert IT Governance's newly-released pocket guide on information security, Ten Rules of Information Security for the Smaller Business.

This highly-informative pocket guide presents in business, not techie, language the basic commonsense precautions smaller firms need to take, describing how to apply ten easy-to-follow rules that will ensure peace of mind and, more importantly, protect future cash flow.

In the past, larger organisations tended to be the main target of attacks and, therefore, only those organisations tended to take appropriate steps to protect their IT infrastructure. Now, however, even the smallest business operating out of a home office is exposed to the same hostile electronic environment - and data compliance requirements - as the world's largest companies. Electronic attacks are now largely automated and seek out unprotected targets on the Internet, finding and attacking unprotected connections within minutes. Highly sophisticated and equally automated threats lurk on websites across the Internet, in e-mails and outside in the physical world. Data Protection Act (DPA) compliance also applies to the smallest business - and, after the highly publicised failures of organisations like HMRC, even the smallest organisation is now in the gun sights of the Information Commissioner. £5k fines for breaching the DPA are going to increase, as is the rate of prosecutions.

Every business needs to take appropriate steps to protect and store its mission-critical data. And with even the smallest of 'one man band' companies now connected to the Internet, and with many SMEs running their own computer networks and websites, business owners need to take cost-effective, practical precautions to take in order to defend themselves against cyber threats.

Ten Rules of Information Security for the Smaller Business supplies the missing link, explaining how and where to start becoming safe, spelling out the threats and risks the small operator faces, and offering ten low-maintenance, cost-effective measures that will help them address their information security challenges. This handy pocket guide includes clear guidance on the right way to work with passwords, how any business can use its existing technology to set up firewalls and anti-spam barriers, and how to protect your wireless network.

Alan Calder, Chief Executive of IT Governance, points out: "Small businesses must make it their number one priority to take practical steps to protect against the increased risk of cyber attack. The risk has grown exponentially, and while previously a growing organisation could take a much more laissez-faire approach, the rise in Internet-related threats and other computer-related risks means that, even in the smallest of operations, protective steps need to be taken in order to guard against an unwelcome visit from one of these attackers. This guide is an ideal starting point to understand your organisation's particular needs."
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