By Suma Potini, Product Marketing Manager, Enterprise Business Group

The security headlines tend to be dominated by big business and government hacks creating the false impression that smaller organizations are too small to worry about security. But in reality, small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) rely on technology and networks as much as any business and face the same significant and constant risks as any enterprise.

As a small business owner, you might be thinking who would be interested in attacking my business when there are many large and more appealing businesses to hack?bulls eye target

Well, from a hacker’s point of view, they are looking for a weak point or a vulnerability to start their launch from. SMBs with insufficient security measures are an easy target to inject a worm, harvest credit card numbers or launch an email attack that can compromise their network and send out infected emails to all their clients and penetrate other networks. Just imagine the damage that does to that particular small business and how it can manifest itself into a larger attack.

A few weeks ago, I was with a small business owner that was interested in purchasing a MFP. I asked him, “Is security one of your considerations when purchasing these printers?” His immediate response was, you guessed it…“No, who would be interested in our data, we are in a small animal feed business.” I said, “How about this – do you handle your clients’ personal and account information, orders, invoices, payments, billing, etc.? Do you have to be compliant with the government regulations? Or honor your customers’ requirements for confidentiality? What does the loss of this data mean to your business?” After a little pause, he turned to me and said, “Yes, it’s absolutely critical that we safeguard this information.”

When considering security whether it’s SMB or large enterprise there are three things to keep in mind: people, technology and processes.

People have to be part of the security solution and properly safeguard data they handle every day. For example, don’t leave post-it notes with passwords on them or leave documents lying around, and always password protect access to critical business information.

On the technology side, it critical to ensure all of the PCs, printers, tablets, and applications are properly configured, maintained, and disposed of, when necessary.

When it comes to business operations, it’s important to ensure sufficient network security safeguards are in place to prevent intrusion, exploits, data breech, and stay current with evolving threats.

As the use of technology rises for all businesses of all sizes, so does the threat rate. As security is getting tighter at larger companies, small businesses are looking increasingly tempting to attackers. These threats are real, no one is immune and SMBs must respond and take action to protect their information, systems and networks.