What Data Security Features Should SMEs Ask From Their MSPs

Everything you need to know when you build small and medium-sized business data security plans.

One of the most pressing issues facing small and medium-sized businesses is the need for an effective data security plan. Data leakage is a major threat to companies and organizations of all sizes, but it is small and medium-sized businesses that are more likely to be bankrupted by the financial consequences of data leakage.


The average total of financial penalties for sensitive data leaks begins at $4 million. This is a crippling blow for any business and it’s no surprise that an estimated 60% of data-compromised companies close within a year. The consequences for business owners, investors, employees, clients - and local economies - are disastrous. The real tragedy is that data leaks are avoidable.


As the volume and sophistication of data threats increase, so does the number of companies offering data security products. CEOs and their IT managers face a bewildering array of DLP solutions, softwares and services. Many make extravagant claims, but fail to deliver comprehensive protection against data breaches.


There are also hundreds of websites and YouTube channels with ‘experts’ and consultants offering data security tips for small and medium-sized business owners. Many of these are simply affiliate operations that make money by promoting data security software or steering clients to data security companies. There is an information overload and the quality, accuracy and relevance of that information is often poor.


It is a real challenge to understand and differentiate between the mass of data security products currently on offer. A wrong choice can not only drain precious financial resources and impose time consuming demands on IT departments. The wrong data security product can also slow your workflows, alienate your employees - and ultimately fail to protect against avoidable data leaks.



Small and Medium-Sized Business Data Security Checklist


If you’re looking for an effective data security and data protection solution for your company, you need to filter out the mass of obsolete and unreliable products. The small and medium-sized business data security checklist provides a quick guide to the actual data security criteria that small business owners should consider when they look for the right data security product for their company.


  • Is the data security product affordable?

  • Is the software user friendly, or does it require special training to operate?

  • Are the security protocols business friendly, or will they disrupt workflows and impose user restrictions?

  • Is the data security software automated and will it operate on a continual basis?

  • Can the data security software locate both active and dormant sensitive data?

  • Can the data security software locate sensitive data across all endpoints and users, including remote devices, channels and cloud?

  • Can the data security software accurately calculate the potential financial penalties for any data leak?

  • Does the data security product provide comprehensive preemptive defenses, or does it rely on reactive event driven actions?

  • Do the data defenses include automated, invisible and FIPS -140 validated encryption and automated decryption?

  • Does data security software allow flexible, tailored defenses that balance security and productivity?


The problem with data security is that you only get a single chance to get it right. Effective defenses against hackers and employee malfeasance or negligence are an all-or-nothing proposition. The future of your business depends on your ability to protect your sensitive data. The small and medium-sized business data security checklist covers all the basics for any company that needs to find an effective, reliable and user-friendly data security product.


Read our related blog post for more data security tips for small and medium-sized businesses.


Small Business Owners are Transforming their data security with Actifile


An East Coast small business CEO has transformed his company’s data defenses with Actifile data security software and set the stage for rapid future growth. Read his data security tips for small and medium-sized businesses:


“We were struggling with data security and I was under pressure from my investors to come up with a working solution. My IT manager was already working overtime to improve our own systems and we were relying on expensive (and not entirely reliable contractors) to patch up the DLP project.


It was a 24-hour headache and the thought of getting hacked - or just accidentally leaking data - was keeping me awake at night. I’d worked for years to get the business started and put everything into making it happen. Actifile mapped all our vulnerabilities and calculated the financial liabilities for data loss. By the end of the week, we’d located all data, encrypted the most sensitive files and applied delayed encryption to the rest. Now Actifile is automatically scanning our systems 24/7. Job done, worries over!


My tips for any small and medium-sized business wrestling with data security issues are don’t leave anything to chance, don’t assume that you know where your sensitive data is, and don’t burden your IT manager with a nightmare DLP project. Keep it simple, keep it automated and reduce the potential for human error.”


Brandon F. CEO of a rapidly expanding small business.


Why Regulation is Vital for Modern Businesses


The modern economy functions around data. Even if you’re not storing sensitive client data like medical records or financial information, the chances are that you’ll depend on harvested data for your marketing campaigns or product launches. You need to protect your research and development and BI data against corporate rivals and safeguard manufacturing processes and designs against industrial espionage.


data security regulation ensures that sensitive data is protected to common standards and builds the trust that is essential in a thriving 21st-century economy. If you can view achieving regulatory compliance as the key to new markets and contracts, rather than as an intimidating and expensive obstacle, you’re on the fast track to future success. Actifile data security software creates a strong foundation for achieving regulatory compliance and should be at the heart of any small and medium-sized business data security plan.


Actifile: The Key to Your Small and medium-sized Business Data Security Plan


Actifile uses next-generation software with invisible automated encryption to transform the concept of data security. The plug-and-play solution is ideal for IT managers who want to take personal control of their sensitive data protection and not rely on hired data security contractors or a bloated DLP team.


  • Actifile software is simple, logical and intuitive. You can use it effectively without special training or niche skill sets.

  • Actifile rapidly audits all your systems. It locates and maps active and dormant data across all endpoints and silos, including remote devices and cloud. If there is sensitive data dispersed in your systems, Actifile will find it.

  • Actiifle quantifies data leakage risks in US dollars or other local currencies. You can practice flexible risk management and make informed decisions about remediation.

  • Actifile users can immediately remediate vulnerabilities with one-click encryption, or apply delayed encryption to other files. Stolen data is unreadable and entirely useless to malicious actors.

  • Actifile protects your workflows with automated in-house decryption (or delayed decryption) and selective decryption across channels. Your employees can work without any disruption or inconvenience.


If you plan to work in regulated industries or to become a Defense Industrial Base contractor, you’ll need to demonstrate compliance with specific data security standards just to bid for a contract. Actifile’s automated encryption and continual, round-the-clock protection is your first step towards achieving a range of valuable data security certification.


Whatever your current business model, industry or market, Actifile will provide you with the peace of mind to focus on growth. When you’re protected by a comprehensive preemptive data security solution, you’re already one crucial step ahead of your competitors.


If you want to locate all your sensitive data and see the real financial risks that you currently face, schedule a free Actifile risk assessment now.


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