Small Businesses are now the #1 Target For Hackers
Technology moves at incredibly fast speeds. It wasn’t that long ago that companies kept all of their data filed away. These days, even mom and pop stores keep employee and customer information on their computer systems. There’s a good chance that you do too. In fact, you may even market your business online or sell products and/or services online. While this makes running a business much more effective and convenient, it’s not without its drawbacks. For example, you could potentially be vulnerable to a breach.
Data Breaches in 2018
Odds are you’ve heard of some massive data breaches over the past few years. Whenever a big company is breached, it instantly becomes publicized. It’s not surprising that these companies are targeted–after all, the data they have is no doubt worth millions. This data includes sensitive company information, employee information (such as social security numbers), and customer information (such as credit card numbers, names, and emails).
It’s one of the reasons why large companies invest money into data security. Fortunately, there are now many companies that have been working diligently over the years to improve their cybersecurity. On the other hand, hackers are simply becoming better and better at what they do. It’s why data breaches have increased dramatically over the past year. Just consider the following:
- In 2018, there were 12,440 new breaches. This was a 424 percent increase over the known number of data breaches that occurred in 2017.
- Roughly 14.9 billion identity records were exposed in 2018, up from 8.7 billion in 2017.
- The average size of a data breach, meaning the number of identity records that were exposed, was around 217,000 for each breach in 2018.
Smaller Businesses Are More Vulnerable To A Breach
It would be a mistake to think that only larger companies are vulnerable to a data breach. As a smaller business, you most likely have your share of sensitive data stored on your computer systems or networks. You might not think that it would be worth the time and effort for hackers to target you considering the fact that there are much bigger fish in the ocean. However, hackers find it much more challenging to hack into larger companies who spend millions on cybersecurity measures, whereas smaller businesses rarely have the resources to truly beef up their data security. As such, hackers have begun to target smaller companies simply because they are easier to hack into and most likely don’t have data breach solutions in place.
Preventing Data Breaches
Just because you can’t afford to implement the same level of cybersecurity as larger companies doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to prevent data breaches. While setting up an internal team or hiring a cybersecurity consultant might not be within your budget, there are some security measures that you can put into place to make your system less vulnerable to potential hacks.
For example, set up two-factor authentication on all business logins through the use of USB keys, verification emails, SMS codes, or codes sent to an app. Setting up two-factor authentication is a good idea in part because one of the reasons smaller businesses tend to be so exposed is because they leave their remotely accessible databases unprotected. You should also make sure that your employees are properly trained and informed on how to use the best security practices and how to avoid leaving themselves vulnerable to breaches (such as by learning how to identify certain scams or risks).
As a small business owner, you can’t afford to experience a data breach. Not only can it be expensive to deal with, but it can also damage your reputation. So be sure to take the appropriate steps to improve your data security wherever possible. We specialize in providing small to mid-sized companies with affordable data breach solutions.
Contact us today to see how we can help your small business avoid a serious data breach.