Information security is more important than ever when it comes to safeguarding small business. According to the Symantec Internet Security Threat Report a noteworthy 30% of all spear-phishing attacks were aimed at small businesses in 2013, while one in five small businesses received at least one targeted spear-phishing email. In 2014, we identified a few technology trends that will have a direct impact on small businesses and the way they protect business critical information.
All eyes will be on protecting Privacy
From scary headline news to a much-needed wake-up call, consumers and small businesses are becoming more mindful about the amount of personal information that’s shared and collected on a daily basis. In 2014, we expect to see privacy protection emerge as a feature in new and existing products. But this new feature will inevitably spark a debate on whether or not these features actually provide real or meaningful privacy protection.
Small business tip: Consider the information you’re collecting on your consumers and whether it is necessary. Be transparent about why you’re collecting certain data, and you’ll establish a more trusting relationship with your customers.
The “Internet of Things” becomes the “Internet of Vulnerabilities” for Small Businesses
Our devices are getting smarter and so must we. With millions of devices connected to the Internet—and in many cases running an embedded operating system—expect more hackers to be hacking in 2014. Security researchers have already demonstrated vulnerabilities in internet connected routers.
Small business tip: Consider the sensitivity of information accessed and stored via connected devices in the workplace. Establish an “Internet of Things” employee policy about what can and cannot be used in the office or used to access your network.
Attracting trouble while social networking with customers
Small businesses are leveraging the visual social network to share artistic photos and promotions to drive engagement, but some spammers are taking advantage of this trend with fake offers to phish for sensitive data, like financial information. Symantec exposed some of these spam accounts tactics. This type of spam can damage a small business’ online reputation if this is the experience existing and prospective customers have with their brand. Protect yourself and your customers by using security best practices no matter where you are on the Internet, or how you connect to it.
Small business tip: Carefully consider what social communities best fit your brand before creating a presence on all the latest social networks. Adopt an employee security best-practice policy for managing branded accounts, including items such as enabling two-factor authentication for social network log-ons where possible.
What technology trends are you planning to adopt for your small business in 2014?