- Mid-market companies can no longer neglect their most critical data assets.
- Advanced data protection is no longer a choice for midsize organizations.
- A critical data asset is any piece of information that could cause irreparable harm to an organization should it be lost, stolen, improperly shared, or improperly exposed.
Robust security programs are more accessible, affordable, and capable than ever before, helping confront a deluge of new regulations and cyber threats. While most midsize enterprises have conventional firewalls and intrusion detection products in place, countless others have eschewed more robust security solutions and services. They’ve justified their hands-off approach with a variety of misconceptions and excuses.
Some executives assume their company isn’t a target, believing hackers and the malware they wield are aimed at high-profile corporations and government agencies. Many have come to the conclusion that advanced security is financially out of reach, built for the largest of enterprises with the deepest of pockets. Others are wary of the time and resources it might take to fortify their defenses, and the complexity and learning curve they would presumably endure.
But such notions are no longer accurate, and mid-market companies can no longer neglect their most critical data assets. Not with a host of new laws and regulations that now apply to organizations of every size. Not with a level of risk that is actually higher than large enterprises face.
Cybersecurity threats, data breaches, and the problems they can create for organizations have been well chronicled. Few people realize that the risks are greater for small and midsized companies.
Large enterprises typically have more robust security systems and processes in place than midsize organizations, allowing them to quickly identify an attack or breach and minimize the damage. And when those safeguards fail, they have the resources—including financial assets, internal staff, and external service providers—to deal with the crises that often follow. Large, global firms have the armor to protect their most valuable assets and the ability to recover if those assets are compromised.
In contrast, a cyber attack or data breach can put a midsized company out of business. Many midsize enterprises can’t afford to get dragged into court, pay significant regulatory fines, hire a publicity firm to repair their image, lose a percentage of their customer base, or patch up the technical vulnerabilities that were exploited in the first place. And modern security events often involve all of them.
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A REALISTIC SOLUTION
In an era of precarious and dynamic business risk, advanced data protection is no longer a choice for midsize organizations. The laws are unbending, the threats are unrelenting, and the consequences can be catastrophic if they are not confronted with a rock-solid security program.
Fortunately, these programs are more accessible, affordable, and capable than ever before. Managed data protection providers can help identify and prioritize the assets of greatest value to any size organization. They can conduct business-focused threat assessments and redirect security dollars to the areas of greatest risk. They can design and implement programs that provide the most protection for the least cost. And they can manage and optimize those programs over time.
CRITICAL DATA ASSETS DEFINED
A critical data asset is any piece of information that could cause irreparable harm to an organization should it be lost, stolen, improperly shared, or improperly exposed. Some types of critical data are well known and regulated pieces of information, such as Protected Health Information (PHI), Personally Identifiable Information (PII), and Payment Card Industry (PCI) data. Other types of critical data aren’t regulated but are very important to a company, such as intellectual property, business research and planning information, financial statements, price lists, and merger and acquisition details.
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