ISO 27001 is an international standard for data security and cyber protection. It details best practice information security in a way that's actionable for your organisation. Through the process of ISO 27001 certification, you’ll implement important procedures into your business processes that will protect you against security breaches and dangerous online activity.

Because businesses around the world are becoming increasingly reliant on technology, data is valuable for everyone and, therefore, data protection should be a priority for all organisations, no matter your size, Not only will it safeguard your data and make your business watertight, it will also boost your own credibility and improve the service you deliver to customers and clients.

Do small businesses need to think about data security?

Just because a business is small, doesn’t mean it’s not immune to digital threats. In fact, small businesses often have to be even more mindful than larger ones because they may not have the money or resources to rectify the damage caused by cyber attacks.

So the answer is yes: all businesses need to make data protection a priority – no matter your size.


The 5 worst data breaches you didn’t even know existed

No business or organisation is immune from data interception and theft. In 2018, the UK Government’s annual Cyber Security Breaches Survey found 43% of businesses experienced a cyber security breach or attack in the last 12 months but only 27% have formal policies covering cyber security risks.

Recent high-profile data breaches from the likes of British Airways, Marriott and Facebook – giants of the business world – are vulnerable to data theft. For even the smallest businesses, data security should be a priority. Here are some of the worst data breaches you didn’t know existed – and how you can use information security management processes to prevent them.

1. Website breaches

For many businesses, your website is one of your primary assets so it’s important to arm it with premium protection. Website breaches can be devastating and can include denial-of-service (DDoS). Attacks where hackers make a site unavailable by flooding it with spammy traffic until it crashes. This blocks access and the domain can fall subject to ransomware. A preventative action against this is a sophisticated firewall.

2. Platform or web application vulnerabilities

Are you sure any portals to your website and supporting applications are secure? This includes platforms like WordPress, Shopify and HubSpot, among others. Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) slowly break into a network in waves so they avoid detection. Firewalls work to protect you and it also helps to block known threats using blacklists. If the threats are unknown, however, whitelist security policies are appropriate. Ensure your data is encrypted and perform regular system cleans to weed out any threats in their infant stages.

3. Misconfigured cloud services

External storage services like Dropbox and Google Drive are stored away from your hardware on ‘the cloud’ and so provide another barrier against viruses that attack your computer and network. However, they’re not completely secure and are still subject to their own vulnerabilities and malware. Cloud workload protection, for example, uses AI to spot faults in cloud systems and rectify them.

It’s also well worth having multiple data backups in case you lose some of your data.

4. Failure to identify and manage assets

Having unmanageable or lost assets can leave them loose and vulnerable to impersonation and phishing, or even inside attacks! Make sure your access privileges are controlled and have inbuilt security measures like multi-factor identification: maybe security measures like thumbprint or facial recognition is appropriate for your organisation.

5. Theft

While you may think your virtual security barriers are intact, what about your physical ones? Data thieves don’t just hack from a laptop in a basement hundreds of miles away; assets like USBs and hard drives can be physically stolen, breaching the data security of your employees and customers.

Bringing together these measures may seem like a hugely insurmountable task, but a sound information security management process isn’t a distant dream.ISO27001 is the go-to for establishing a watertight data security management system, providing you with the framework and guidance you need to remain up-to-date with the latest trends in cyber security. Find out more about ISO 27001

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We are British business helping other businesses in the UK. I started out running from a small, rented room in Blackpool with an entrepreneurial spirit, and a desire to help. Today, we help hundreds of businesses achieve certification and improve their processes every year.

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