Home 2011 Resolutions For SMBs: Get Serious About Security

2011 Resolutions For SMBs: Get Serious About Security

This week on ReadWriteBiz, we’re running down our list of recommended New Year’s resolutions for small and medium-sized businesses. Today we discuss the importance of bolstering information security in 2011.

A few weeks back, we looked at how small businesses have a tendency to be less-than-diligent about data security. Not cool, guys. Well, 2011 is around the corner and there’s no better time to turn things around.

The list of unsavory practices SMBs admitted to, according to one survey, include backing up critical business data on thumb drives and piggybacking on unsecured WiFi networks.

Security issues will only get more pressing in 2011. In a recent forecast, McAfee predicted that URL shorteners, mobile devices and geolocation apps will become targets next year.

Without the huge IT budgets of larger enterprises, it’s not surprising to see SMBs cutting corners. Fortunately there are some affordable, easy-to-implement safeguards for businesses of all sizes.

Common Sense Defenses

We previously outlined how small businesses should use strong, ever-changing passwords, implement a business-appropriate policy with regard to thumb drives and avoid connecting to unsecured WiFi networks at all costs.

Of course, your strongest lines of defense are going to be antivirus software and a solid firewall. Enterprise security software providers like McAfee and Symanetec have affordable solutions geared toward small businesses and AVG still offers a pretty good antivirus suite for free. If you’re running your own Web server, make sure to follow Apache’s basic security recommendations and other Web server security best practices.

Consider the Cloud

If investing in IT infrastructure and security is too big of a budgetary hassle right now, consider taking the same plunge that many other small and medium-sized businesses have and begin moving your operations into the cloud. While Web-based, SaaS products come with their own risks and challenges, they can cut costs and can ease the headaches of managing everything internally.

Photo by Flickr user CarbonNYC.

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