Smaller business must do more on security, warns Schmidt

Small and medium-sized businesses need to take more action to ensure the security of their IT systems, experts have warned.

Small and medium-sized businesses need to take more action to ensure the security of their IT systems, experts have warned.

 

Former White House and Microsoft chief security officer Howard Schmidt told a seminar organised by internet service provider Claranet, “SMEs have to realise that just because they are small, it doesn't mean they won't be targeted. Bad guys target wherever they can get money.”

 

But SMEs were struggling to cope with internet threats, Schmidt said.

 

“Large enterprises have been doing a good job in preventing security breaches. But small businesses normally don't have full-time IT staff.”

 

Even SMEs with workforces of around 30 people often did not have their own IT and security professionals, leaving them unable to properly address security threats, Schmidt added.

 

He warned that human error – and the ignorance of staff – was often to blame for important or sensitive data being compromised. He highlighted the danger of staff using file-sharing software or networks inadvertently making company data available to others. “Individuals working on peer-to-peer networks often don't realise they're sharing the whole contents of their drive,” he said.

 

Comment on this article: computer.weekly@rbi.co.uk

 

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