Your Small Business and Data Security

When it comes to data security, you might believe you have enough safeguards in place to protect your small business. After all, you probably frequently update your antivirus software and other security protocols too. And it’s not as if you’re a large company that needs to worry about having their systems breached by sophisticated hacking techniques. With tens of thousands of delicate customer records on file, these massive firms are the ones who must be concerned about cyber attacks, right? As it happens, digital thieves have greatly escalated their efforts when it comes to stealing from small businesses. To help you learn more about your level of danger, let’s look at this important topic in depth below.

Small firms: low-hanging fruit

The facts are, hackers have realized that small enterprises are easier targets, and are increasingly preying upon them. They can infiltrate their systems at a considerably faster rate, and with a better percentage of success as well. This means a cyber criminal can assault multiple targets in the time it would take them to lay siege to a better-guarded system with a higher level of data security. How can it be worth their while to steal from a mom and pop business? In the current modern world, just about any business utilizes digital payment processing methods. When your customers pay using a credit card, this data must run through your system to be verified. This represents a goldmine of data for hackers, as they can lift this data without being detected. With your customers’ credit card numbers, addresses and names, they can make fraudulent charges on their accounts.

How hackers gain access to your data

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

The buck stops with you

You may think that preserving your data security isn’t that crucial, as the credit card companies are liable for any bogus charges that occur. Although this is true for the consumer, as a business owner you might experience a very different result. Often if your systems have been compromised, they’ll hold you responsible for finding the breach. This could 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 due to only one 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.