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The Necessity of Security Education for Small Business

Written By: Nan Schwarz

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.
About the Author

Schwarz is the director of creative marketing at Essential Security Software and is responsible for worldwide creative marketing strategy and execution, corporate branding, and public relations. Essential Security Software (ESS) is a provider of document and email security solutions. ESS believes that people have the right to affordable security software technology that is powerful, flexible, and easy-to-use.

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