Cyber security is a major concern no matter what size or type of business you have.
Despite how critical it is, a lot of people are still not doing enough to protect themselves. They don’t take information security seriously – until something bad happens.
Take security breaches for example. They can be costly, often putting small businesses out of business for a few months.
There are practices that could stave off most attacks. Unfortunately, since humans are the weakest link in the cyber security chain, breaches can happen no matter what type of preparation a company does.
To help reduce this risk, there’s a newer and safer model for cyber security. It’s called the Zero Trust model with network segmentation.
What Is Zero Trust?
In the old ways of cyber security, gaining access to a network was as simple as putting in your username and password. Once you’re in, you have access to everything.
Unfortunately, this model has some pretty obvious weaknesses. Hackers only need to gain access to your login data, which is easy to do through social engineering.
In the zero trust model, everyone is assumed to be a hacker.
Login info will get a person into the front door. Once he’s inside, he’ll find many more doors. This leaves fewer chances for hackers to exploit.
This model regularly checks activity logs, too. This is done in real time to detect any threats as quickly as possible.
Even the Department of Homeland Security recommends zero trust segmented networks. It suggests:
- Design network segments based on need-to-know and zero trust principles
- Ensure that sensitive information is segmented, even from other sensitive information
- Layer security measures so each segment has its own requirements for access
How Much Do Data Breaches Cost?
According to Hackerpocalypse: A Cybercrime Revelation from Cybersecurity Ventures:
“Cybersecurity Ventures predicts global annual cyber crime costs will grow from $3 trillion in 2015 to $6 trillion annually by 2021, which includes damage and destruction of data, stolen money, lost productivity, theft of intellectual property, theft of personal and financial data, embezzlement, fraud, post-attack disruption to the normal course of business, forensic investigation, restoration and deletion of hacked data and systems, and reputational harm.”
The cost of cleaning breached records varies by company and by industry.
Retail breaches are great examples. They are the most publicized type of breaches because they affect several consumers at once. Generally, they cost millions of dollars per incident to clean up. They also cost the retail outlet in lost sales and reputational damage.
Small data breaches can happen to small businesses, too. In such cases, breaches can cost tens of thousands of dollars to clean up. This can easily put a company out of business.
After all, how many small businesses have tens of thousands of dollars they aren’t using to put toward cleaning a data breach?
How To Implement Zero Trust Segmented Networks
Even if you don’t have a large corporation with an information security team and a network architecture specialist, there are still ways for you to protect your small business.
- Software can automate some security needs
- Next generation firewalls can provide greater security
- BYOD and password hygiene policies can go a long way
- Security consultants often specialize in working with small businesses to find Info Sec solutions
- SaaS and NaaS providers can give your business the same level of security as large corporations
Don’t Let InfoSec Get Away From You
Doing something about your company’s information security before it’s too late is crucial if you want to stay in business. Hackers are always looking for vulnerabilities to exploit, so the time to act to make your network safer is now. You are the weakest link and hackers know that. Don’t let them destroy your businesses by not acting to protect it. Learn more about zero trust network segmentation from this infographic!
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Author: Brian Wallace
Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency based in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies that range from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian also runs #LinkedInLocal events nationwide, and hosts the Next Action Podcast. Brian has been named a Google Small Business Advisor for 2016-present and joined the SXSW Advisory Board in 2019.