When we collect and store data as part of our business, we must make sure such information is safe. Nowadays, more and more sensitive information becomes digital, from both our customers and our companies, too. That’s why data security for small businesses should be a priority, as a data breach might do severe damage to our company.
We’ll go over the importance of data security for small business in order to understand the seriousness of the matter. Then we’ll go over different data security tips, such as privacy policies, encrypted data, and educating employees. This way, we’ll make sure we are taking necessary steps to prevent data breach damage.
Even when one might think hackers only target large corporations, studies show that 60% of cyber-attacks target small businesses. Besides, 60% of those companies go out of business six months after a cyber-attack or data breach. Unlike huge corporations such as Home Depot, Sony, Target, etcetera, which multimillionaire data breaches have compromised less than 2% of their total revenue.
The impact of a cyber-attack or a data breach on a small business can damage the company in many ways. To begin with, customer trust and loyalty would suffer, as our customers will wonder why we didn’t protect their data. This could result in legal action against our already fragile company. As a consequence, we might not be able to recover from the attack, having to go out of business.
One of the most important steps of data security for small businesses is the implementation and enforcement of privacy policies. We will be able to better manage and protect data once we have security standards and guidelines to follow. Also, explaining such policies and guidelines to our customers, clients, and partners, will make them feel more comfortable and confident with us gathering and protecting their information. As a result, our image as a safe and trustworthy corporation will be recognized and trusted in the future.
A key step to data security for small businesses is encrypting sensitive information. Whatever data we collect, it will always be on a human level of understanding, meaning basically anybody could read it and understand it. When we encrypt such information, this data becomes unreadable, as a set of algorithms will scramble it. In order to have the information into a readable format again, we would need a decryption key to decode the data. This way, if a hacker managed to breach our system, the information they got would be useless.
Another essential aspect of data security for small businesses is keeping our employees trained and alert. Fake emails and internet links are the most common methods hackers use to spread malware. That’s why it’s imperative for us to keep our staff trained and up to date with the latest policies. Besides, they might be the point of entry for customer data, so ensuring they are prepared and trustworthy to handle it is imperative. This way, we can make sure customer data is safe since its first contact with us.