Security issues remain a top concern for business as hackers grab headlines while stealing sensitive data.
Despite high-profile cases where thieves have stolen customer identity and payment information from large corporations, most data breaches affect small businesses and often go unreported in the news.
Company size magnifies the gravity of compromised security because small businesses often lack sufficient resources to execute a full recovery. Intruders can drain your firm of its competitive advantage and fraudulently use your customer data, leaving you unable to compete and in many cases liable for damages. Use the following tips to begin evaluating the risk of a data security breach your business faces.
Black market demand for customer payment information drives cyber attackers to hack business networks looking for such data. Your company will remain at risk of data breaches as long as you keep customer credit card numbers and accompanying information on hand. Businesses that have public policies stating they do not retain customer payment information reduce their risk of data breaches. Find out what you can do to conduct business without storing customer credit card information on your network and you will reduce your risk of a security breach.
2. Do You Have Security Measures in Place?
Small businesses often think their size keeps them off the radar of cyber attackers. By making themselves soft targets, companies attract the attention of inexperienced hackers and cyber criminals with a low tolerance for risk. Almost every business has at least one computer and an Internet connection. Most have networks that share Internet access and connect printers, scanners, and POS terminals. Your company faces substantial risk if it does not have basic security measures such as firewalls and antivirus software in place.
3. Do You Operate in the Healthcare Industry?
Businesses in growing industries attract cyber-attacks because they have access to the most active customers and hope to gain more as more digital records become available. Such a landscape promises an ongoing stream of new data that can deliver lasting value to hackers. If your company does business in a hot sector such as health care, expect to have attackers trying to steal your records, especially during EHR data conversions.
4. Do You Have a Security Policy?
Companies must educate their employees about security best practices that define the acceptable use of company data and equipment. Additionally, companies must establish administrative standards that include user-level permissions and other tools to ensure data security. You place your business at extreme risk of a data breach if you do not have a security policy in place.
Security breaches cost companies billions of dollars every year as well as lost business resulting from bad publicity and tarnished reputations. Vulnerabilities can cost more than preventative measures, so take action today to give your business the protection it deserves.