As a smart entrepreneur, the biggest problem to contend with in regards to cyber criminals is that they're smart entrepreneurs, too. They're highly motivated and technically proficient hard workers.
What they're after isn't fame or notoriety. It's about money. Specifically, that means stealing data--personal and business facts and figures that can be used to generate illegal profits. It also means hijacking the computing power of your PCs and servers to steal other people's data in order to generate more profit.
It's true that businesses of all sizes are at risk and successful hacks at large corporations can pay off in a big way, but multinationals can also put up better defenses. Smaller businesses, by contrast, typically have limited IT resources, and the sheer number of firms in this category makes them irresistible. Even if your online transactions don't involve money or billing, you're still a fair target just by being connected to the internet.
So how do business owners avoid becoming another statistic?
Get in the cloud. Cloud-security's value proposition is focused on saving money by scaling to your business needs and improving productivity; it also allows you to stay connected wherever you are, whether you're using a laptop, desktop, or smart phone.
By working in the cloud, you get faster, more responsive protection without overburdening and slowing down your computers, especially as the volume of threats increase. Cloud security uses the internet and the security company's computers (data centers) to shoulder security technologies instead of relying on your PC's storage space.
But not all cloud-security is created equal. Before you make the final decision on which security product to purchase, I'd encourage you to ask these questions either to yourself, your channel partner or to the security vendor you're considering:
- Does the vendor offer cloud-security products that can actually stop online threats before they even hit your office, and without slowing down your computers? Many vendors claim to do this, but unless the technology is integrated in the products that's specifically tailored for your business, their claims can come up empty.
- Does the vendor have the size, expertise, and experience to not only invest, but maintain a cloud security infrastructure? An effective cloud security vendor needs global reach, a brigade of security experts, and multiple datacenters that can continue to scale to stop hundreds of millions of threats per hour around the globe.
- Is the technology mostly organically developed or through acquisitions? This is important because a big component of cloud security is how the technologies involved all work together. Companies that "grow" and develop their own technologies have a higher success in making sure they all meld together seamlessly which equals more effective protection.
The idea of the most effective protection not completely residing on your PC, but floating somewhere out there can be a hard concept for some self-sufficient business owners to accept. But, in today's borderless, electronic universe, relying on security outside of your businesses wall can be the safest measure of all.
Dal Gemmell is a senior global product marketing manager in the Trend Micro Small Business solutions team. As a global product marketing manager, he works in partnership with regional leaders to drive sales and marketing efforts.