Small business owners often don’t realize that they’re at risk for insider data breaches. After all, the data breaches that make headlines tend to be the ones that occur at large corporations and big banks. It’s easy to believe that these large, well-known companies are the only targets of insider threats. However, small companies are at risk, and they’re often at greater risk because they fail to anticipate and guard against cybersecurity threats. Take a look at some of the reasons why small companies are targets for data threats.
Small Companies May Be Less Prepared for Insider Data Threats
Today’s small business owners must educate themselves and employees about insider data threats.
Perhaps the biggest contributor to insider threats against small businesses is simple accessibility. Small businesses are less prepared to block and fight threats. They have less money to spend on IT and security measures.
Small business may not have the resources for extensive IT security training for employees concerning insider data threats. They may be less likely to enforce requirements for staff members to follow the security protocols that are in place. Under pressure to make sure that the business is profitable, small businesses may look the other way when staff members take shortcuts that compromise security. However, strict security protocols and comprehensive employee training are actually important investments. They can prevent insider data threats and save small businesses money in the long run.
Small Companies Have Valuable Data
Make sure that no one else is benefiting from your company’s data and intellectual property.
No matter what the size of your company is, your data is valuable to somebody. Your client lists, intellectual property, and other sensitive information all represent a profit to rivals or cybercriminals. And who is in the best position to sell your valuable data? Company insiders.
There are many reasons why an insider at your company might choose to steal your data and give or sell it to an outsider or rival. Employees who are deeply in debt may be vulnerable to outsiders offering large sums of money, for example. Employees who have been passed over for promotion, demoted, or suspect that they’re liable to be let go soon may act out of anger toward the company.
But companies can prevent these kinds of losses with the right employee monitoring software. For example, activity monitoring can alert you to employees who are behaving suspiciously – accessing sensitive files repeatedly for no obvious reason or sending emails and files from personal accounts instead of company accounts. You could also place restrictions on certain types of email attachments, which can prevent employees from sending the files you most want to protect.
Sabotage Can Affect Businesses of Any Size
It’s not just data theft that you have to worry about. In some cases, disgruntled employees have sabotaged their company’s business by changing or erasing code, deleting important files, or introducing viruses or other types of malware. Insiders who are angry with the company or with a particular individual inside the company may not need a financial motive for sabotage – revenge may be motive enough. These acts of sabotage can cost a lot to repair. Small companies operate on smaller budgets and profit margins than large companies.
Employee monitoring can help prevent these kinds of actions as well. For example, file monitoring, which gives you a record of activity related to individual files, can show you if files are being accessed by someone who shouldn’t have access to them, or if there is a pattern of access from unusual devices or at unusual times.
Employee monitoring software is a powerful tool that is accessible to small and large business owners alike. To find out how employee monitoring software can benefit your small business, try it free today.