The Necessity of Security Education for Small Business

Email and document security is no longer just an option for
companies, it is a necessity. Couple that with the costly user
licensing of most enterprise software solutions and many small
business operators can be locked out of taking advantage of Best
Practice strategies that ensure the privacy of intellectual
property and communication. Setting rights permissions to
documents and encrypting email will be essential to future
security practices for all businesses.

Common knowledge has been that the less sophisticated small
business operates on a pricing sensitivity and is more apt to
take advantage of promotions, whereas the more sophisticated
make security decisions based on perceived business necessities.
Overall, small businesses tend towards waiting to implement
internet security measures until after suffering an email breach
or informational leak. By this time privacy and accompanying
monetary loss may have already done irreparable harm to a
company’s intellectual property and reputation. Large enterprise
solutions make it necessary to adopt complex IT infrastructures
and processes that are usually dependent on an IT staff – a
solution that does not fit well into the budgets of most small
businesses.

According to published reports in PCWorld.com, there are nearly
70 million small businesses worldwide and over 20 million in the
U.S. alone. Small business is a major part of the global economy
– that means it’s time to replace a general passivity towards
the possible threats from email and document theft with a look
towards initiating security measures as a business standard. The
increasing level of security risk due to email and intellectual
property theft make it imperative for small businesses to raise
their level of security knowledge and investment.

Recent studies show that although information security is a high
concern for small business owners, lack of actual knowledge and
awareness of the economic impact of security incidents is
equally high. Imparting an awareness to the small business
community of the real threats in regards to security
vulnerability should be top priority. Through education in this
arena, small businesses can better enable them to not only
determine their own level of risk but also choose the necessary
email and document security solutions.

The responsibility of raising awareness of security provisions
needs to come not only from governing agency reports, but also
from security solution vendors. Providers of business tool
solutions are better equipped than any other entity to position
themselves as leaders in educating businesses on not only the
dangers but the appropriate basic security measures to
complement a small company infrastructure. Especially here,
being informed on which internet security products best suit a
company need is important as the needs of small businesses are
vastly different than that of enterprise businesses.

Look to numerous market survey and analysis reports that
specialize in studies on information security and small
business. A little research will show they repeatedly state the
same warning to small businesses – they need to change their
attitude towards security and begin adopting a security plan.

Taking the time to gather information on creating good internet
security practices will lead to a decrease in the future cost of
lost productivity, and by educating your workforce you create an
even wider prevention of productivity loss

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