Securing a company’s assets, in all its forms – financial data, customer data, reputation – involves a wide range of measures. SMEs gave a vital advantage in this regard: they have a small operating base in a lean organization that can quickly change their daily operating practices. In a large company, once bad security practices become entrenched, it can take years to weed them out – whereas small companies can act quickly to adapt their practices to the increased security demands of modern businesses.
By and large, there are two major areas that companies need to secure: their online presence and their corporate networks. The two are intertwined, and a security incident in one of them can result in a data breach in the other one, so both need to be secured simultaneously and with the same level of attention.
Securing the online presence and internal network of SMEs poses a number of unique challenges. SMEs typically cannot afford large administration and security staff, can have informal work environments that encourage an informal approach to data access, and their customers often expect faster responses than they expect from large companies. Typical approaches to mitigating these obstacles include automating administration and security activities, ensuring that security practices do not result in reduced usability and productivity from company employees, and an increased focus on preventing attacks before they occur and on so -called “defense in depth” – actively restricting the consequences of a successful attack by introducing additional security measures that need to be circumvented for each attack route.