Data Security and Your Small Business: What You Need To Know

It is easy to fall into the wrong idea that you already have enough safeguards in position to protect your small business. You almost certainly stay current with the latest antivirus software, but is that sufficient? You also probably believe that since you’re not a huge corporation, you don’t have to worry about cyber criminals hacking into your system. But here’s the unfortunate reality: cyber criminals have upped their game and are starting to target small businesses more and more. Let’s take a closer look to give you a better understanding of the level of danger your business may be under.

Small firms: low-hanging fruit

Sadly, small businesses make easy targets, so hackers are beginning to concentrate on them. Small firms are quick hacks and the criminals can make more hacks at a quicker rate. With more chances, their probability of stealing beneficial information goes up considerably. As a small company, you may not think you have any important data, but in today’s world even the most basic information can be used to do harm to someone else. Credit card purchases are the most common targets of cyber criminals. Each time your system runs a transaction, it must authenticate the cardholder’s information. This information can contain card numbers, addresses, names, and more. Your clients don’t want this information stolen!

How hackers gain access to your data

Hackers usually take a multiple-point-of-entry approach when attempting to breach your company. Don’t be fooled that email is the sole method a hacker will try to infiltrate you. While destructive email attachments are the most widely used tactics that hackers use to mine data from a company, additionally they use low-tech methods as well. Direct phone calls to lower level employees or even a in-office visit posing as system administrator are some of the low-tech ways criminals may target your organization. You might believe your workers are impervious to these seemingly evident ploys, but it only takes one mistake to open your company up to an attack.

The buck stops with you

You may feel that maintaining your data security isn’t that vital, as the credit card companies are responsible for any bogus charges that occur. While this is true for the consumer, as a business owner you might experience a very different outcome. Often if your systems have been compromised, they will hold you responsible for finding the breach. This may cost thousands of dollars and can ruin your profit margin for the entire year. In fact, some small businesses have been bankrupted by cyber attacks, closing their doors because of just one single incident.

An ounce of prevention…

Taking extra precautions when it comes to your business’ data security is a very wise move. Continue to update your programs and passwords on a regular basis. Teach your employees good security practices like setting up strong passwords and instructing them to never give out login information or open suspicious emails. Hiring an outside consultant is another great way to ensure your clients’ information. These measures not only give you peace of mind, they tell your clients that you care about keeping them safe.