With the prevalence of data breaches these days, chances are that you’ve had your private information compromised by one of the most recent attacks. Big corporations like Yahoo and Target, as well as credit agencies such as Equifax, have all been the victims of successful cybercriminal attacks, but you may be thinking that your business is too small to become a victim as well. If you value your business and want to keep it from falling prey to cybercriminals, then there are some data security questions you need to ask.
Do All Businesses Need to Prepare for a Possible Data Breach?
If your small business fell victim to a cyberattack, would you know how to respond? Knowing which steps to take during a successful breach or fraud attack could very well save your business, so it’s crucial to create a plan for getting your business back on track. For instance, you may need to hire data recovery specialists to provide support during the recovery process, especially if you do not currently employ your own IT specialist. Companies like Secure Data Recovery have the expertise and experience to help your business quickly regroup in the wake of online data losses, which can help prevent additional productivity losses and possible prevent your business from going under completely. That’s because according to recent statistics, up to 60 percent of small businesses close within six months of a successful cyberattack. You can keep your business from becoming another statistic with a data breach response plan.
Who Is Responsible for Most Small Business Data Breaches?
Including the right steps in your data recovery plan may help you avoid disaster if your small business is targeted. However, knowing which threats are the most prevalent is one of the best ways to prevent costly data breaches. When researching these common small business breach factors, it may surprise you to find out that poorly trained employees are at the heart of many successful online attacks. If your current employees do not receive adequate training around cyber security best practices, they are more likely to click on a malicious email link or download an infected attachment. That tiny mistake can cost your small business big time, which is why creating a culture of awareness around online threats is so important.
Of course, former employees can pose a threat as well, especially if they still have access to online accounts and passwords. Establishing clear information policies, such as restricting access to sensitive accounts and auditing critical service settings, can strengthen your defenses against disgruntled or careless employees, both past and present, and protect your business.
What Other Online Threats Should Small Business Owners Be Aware Of?
Providing comprehensive cybersecurity training should be your first line of defense against data breaches and online attacks. When you and your employees are all aware of the importance of using strong passwords and avoiding suspicious links or messages, the chances for a successful breach tend to drop significantly. You can also speak with your IT department or data recovery consultants to determine the best cybersecurity practices for your staff, but also be sure to educate yourself around other current online threats. These common scams can include everything from fraudulent email invoices, online banking scams, and even payroll fraud, all of which can be devastating to your small business.
As stated above, ensuring that only essential staff members have access to critical data, such as payroll and banking information, can provide security against an attack. Safeguarding sensitive employee and customer information can prevent these attacks and sophisticated tax schemes that are currently impacting businesses of all sizes. Spotting these data threats can be tricky, but identifying scams is much easier if you are aware of them in the first place, and doing so can prevent your business from failing.
Protecting your small business from data breaches may seem like a full-time job, but with the helpful information outlined above, you can simplify this step in securing your long-term success. Because securing your data may be an investment, but not doing so could cost you even more in the future. It could even cost you the business you’ve worked so hard to build.
Special thanks to Lindsey Weiss for the feature article!
Photo Credit: Unsplash
Photo Credit: Unsplash0