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Online security – not just for big business

security-lockSurely you’ve heard about the major security and data breaches that Sony has experienced this year. It’s bad. It’s a liability. Despite the popularity of their online services, they’ll have to work hard to regain customers’ loyalty. Other big names have experienced similar attacks.

But small and medium businesses should not think that malicious hackers will avoid attacking them due to their size. SMBs might feel like small fry but they often store valuable information about the organization and its customers, such as financial and credit card data, and other proprietary and classified information.

And with many smaller businesses looking to save money by consolidating operations and storage in “the cloud” (i.e., online), the issue is even more pressing.

The Los Angeles Times suggests that, in a 2010 study, 73 percent of SMBs reported being targets of cyber-attacks. The study was conducted by Symantec, an anti-virus software developer with an obvious stake in the outcome, but any number should give SMBs pause.


Taking precautions against cyber thieves not only is an act of self-protection but also might be a requirement for winning new clients.

An increasing number of corporations are requiring that companies they hire as contractors, no matter how small, have digital defenses in place. This is especially true in the healthcare and financial services industries, where consumer privacy laws are being strengthened.

I don’t think I have to tell you that this doesn’t only apply in the United States.

See Information Technology PolicyPro for detailed discussions on Physical and systems security, Data security, Network security, Backup and disaster planning, and much more. Finance & Accounting PolicyPro offers invaluable information on Risk management and Internal control.

Adam Gorley
First Reference Internal Controls, Human Resources and Compliance Editor

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Adam Gorley

Editor at First Reference
Adam Gorley, B.A. (Phil.), is a researcher, content provider and editor. He contributes regularly to First Reference Talks and Internal Control blogs, HRinfodesk and other First Reference publications. His areas of focus include broad human resources issues, corporate social responsibility, corporate governance and government policies, information technology and labour market trends.Read more
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