Did you know that data breaches cost small businesses between 84,000 to 148,000 dollars? Small businesses have become a prime target for hackers. Because most of these businesses store a lot of data without enough security.
Due to the cost of data breaches, many small businesses close after suffering a breach. Do you have a data breach protection plan in place? Not sure if you’re protecting your small business data?
We’ve got you covered, and got together some tips to protect your business from the most lethal data breaches.
Read on to learn more!
How to Protect Your Small Business Data Today
Forty-three percent of all cyber attacks target small businesses. Are you protecting your business data? You may have an in-house IT department but, that doesn’t mean that you are protecting your data.
The type of data handled by your business will determine the right data breach protection practices. At first, protecting your data might seem too much of a hassle and expense. Yet, it can help you prevent fines of up to 26.3 million dollars for non-compliance with regulations such as GDPR.
These fines may vary depending on the data breach and size of your business. It’s important to cover all your bases when it comes to data breach protection. Here are some tips on how to protect your business from data breaches:
1. Identify and Locate the Data You Have
What data are you storing? Is it customer profiles? Where are you storing this information?
If you’re storing all your data on computers or other systems, it’s important that you protect these systems. When you’ve several facilities you may consider storing your data on a cloud. All your data will be in one place and, it will enhance your security.
If you’re keeping files at your facilities, it’s essential that these documents are under lock and key. Also, these files should only be accessible to certain employees.
2. Encrypt and Protect All Your Data
Preparing your business for any data breach minimizes the risk of closing your doors due to a breach. It’s important that you encrypt all the data you handle. Because, in the event of a data breach, your data will be safe from being compromised.
Encrypting your data isn’t as difficult as it was. There are tools such as applications, and databases that do it for you. You should consult an expert if you aren’t sure how to encrypt your data.
3. Train All Your Employees
Data breach protection practices must become part of your company culture. That’s the best way to guarantee the safety of all your customer data.
You must train all your employees on how to properly handle consumer data. A good approach is having your own internal data handling handbook.
It’s a great way to have everyone on the same page. The handbook can include instructions on the procedures for recording and transferring data.
4. Set Strong Passwords and Change Them Regularly
Many businesses underestimate the importance of the passwords they use. It’s important to set strong passwords but, the effort is moot if you don’t change them regularly. Also, using the same passwords for several systems puts your business at risk.
It can be difficult to remember all the passwords we use on a daily basis. But, today there are tools that can help you set up and keep a record of strong passwords. You may consider using one of them if it’s hard for you to keep track of your passwords.
5. Use and Keep Your Antivirus and Antispyware Software up to Date
Many experts emphasize the importance of having the best antivirus and antispyware software for your small business systems. But, you expose your business to data breaches if you don’t keep your software up to date.
Every day there’s a new cyber threat. The only way to be ready for them is by updating your software. Every time you update your antivirus and antispyware, you update their threats databases.
If your antivirus and antispyware is up to date, they’ll identify any threat that tries to infect your systems. This will prevent most data breaches.
6. Create a Cyber Security Breach Plan
Do you have a cyber security response plan for a data breach? If not, it’s important that you develop one today. You may train your employees on proper data handling but, they must know what they should do in the event of a data breach.
A fast response to a data breach can minimize its impact. The plan should detail what staff and resources your employees should contact once they’re aware of the cyber attack. Also, this plan must include the notification procedure for the affected parties.
7. Consider Bringing an Expert on Board
Having a cyber security expert in-house can cost too much for a small business. But, you should consider outsourcing these services. If you outsource your cyber security services, you’ll be able to protect your data without paying a hefty bill.
Hiring an expert is the best way to protect yourself from fines for noncompliance with cyber security regulations. Also, you may consider outsourcing your data breach response team.
This team will provide the best chance of minimizing the impact of the breach. Hiring the right experts might be difficult but, not impossible. Read more here about outsourcing your data breach protection.
Many business owners don’t prioritize small business data protection because of the expense. But, the consequences of a data breach can turn into a nightmare. Closing your doors due to a data breach after putting in so much work isn’t an option.
As a business owner, you should prioritize protecting your business and customer information. Simple changes in your current procedures may provide enough security to prevent data breaches. Before designing your plan, you should analyze your current data handling.
Are you encrypting all your data? How are you transferring sensitive information? These are some of the questions that can give you an idea of what areas to improve.
If you aren’t sure on what’s the best approach to improve your data breach protection, you should consult an expert. Also, you may consider outsourcing your cyber security to implement ironclad cyber security practices.
Want to learn more ways to protect and improve your business? Check out our business section to learn more.