SMBs increased exposure from remote work requires a different data security approach

Privacy settings may not be aligned with the usual office devices at-home so hardware and internet providers should be providing updated security strategies.

With the recent stories about Zoom and WebEx calls being compromised by hackers and workers’ heavier reliance on online tools to perform work remotely, privacy and security concerns are top of mind for businesses worldwide. And, as swaths of SMBs are shifting much of their business operations online during the COVID-19 pandemic, this raises new, unique security issues. While it’s easy to assume that SaaS-delivered solutions are the main gatekeepers when it comes to keeping customer data secure, SMBs and their technology partners need to consider the last mile to prevent privacy exposure. 

SaaS-delivered solutions are certainly responsible for protecting the security of the customer data they handle and store, but the issue of data security goes beyond accessing specific applications – whether installed on a device or accessed via a portal. For example, local businesses with employees operating from home may be working on devices that are not up to date on the latest operating systems, security patches or browser versions. Or a particular device’s privacy settings may not be aligned with that of their usual office devices. In these cases, even if SaaS applications’ security options are strong, the privacy of the SMBs’ data may be compromised. 

SMB-SaaS companies should keep these considerations in mind as they recommend default security strategies in this new environment. In addition, hardware and internet providers should be continuously reinforcing and reminding their customers (SMB employees now working from home) about the proper steps to ensure all device-specific privacy and security settings, operating systems and application updates are current as well as aligned with industry security standards. With SaaS, hardware and communication companies raising the bar on the customer experience, SMBs can continue to leverage the benefits of SaaS applications to drive efficiencies while maintaining peace of mind regarding their data security.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

Bill Dinan is president of Localogy, a not-for-profit trade association comprised of technology, marketing and media service providers and multi-location brands that help small businesses thrive in an increasingly localized world. Bringing deep expertise on how local commerce industries are evolving with new technology and business approaches, Dinan has successfully led and grown companies over the last few decades, including, Acquisio, Telmetrics and others.

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