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December 15, 2011
By S.L. Sweet

Staffing Concerns Shouldn’t Shortchange Security for SMBs

There is enormous differences between running a small business and a large enterprise. However, the ability to provide sufficient IT security to business of all sizes have dramatically improved in recent years—giving small business owners varied options to protect their small but critical business needs.

To start with, there are two major distinctions between running a large organization and overseeing your own small-medium business (SMB):

First, at a large-enterprise company, you’ll have access to separate departments for HR, finance, sales/marketing and engineering. As the owner of a small-medium business (SMB), you very well may be the HR, finance, sales/marketing and engineering departments. At the very least, you’ll have a number of employees covering multiple areas.

Second, at a large-enterprise company, you’ll likely employ on-staff IT pros to support network/data security. As an SMB owner – you guessed it – you’re probably wearing the IT security hat. Or at least you’re calling the shots on the purchase of protection products and services.

Clearly, you’re in business for yourself because you want to control your own destiny. You like the freedom of being your own boss, as well as the creative camaraderie that entrepreneurialism inspires.

But security oversight remains a sore spot. According to recent research from Symantec, over the past 12 months, 75 percent of businesses saw attacks resulting in 20 percent of small businesses incurring a cost of at least $100,000.

Other published reports indicate that SMB owners are most concerned about viruses (63 percent), stolen data (59 percent), data leaks (56 percent) and spyware (55 percent).

The question remains: what can you do to stem the tide? Most would argue that a lack of policies and staffing resources present the greatest barriers to protecting your business.

There are obvious challenges, with no ready solutions, right? After all, you’re not going to hire an IT security specialist, are you? (At least not full-time.)

But there is good news: You don’t have to. In my next post, we’ll elaborate upon the two key paths you can take to ensure secure operations for your SMB.

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