How to protect Small Business Data? 2021 | 6 best ways
The possibilities of getting hacked are underestimated by small business owners. However, because small businesses are less safeguarded than corporations, attackers are more likely to steal data from them. How may a data breach affect a company’s bottom line?
Small and medium-sized enterprises make up a significant portion of each country’s economy. Every year, businesses are exposed to cyberattacks, which result in high costs for business owners. Some companies are unable to deal with the circumstances and are forced to exit the market.
According to Verizon Data Breach, intruders targeted 58% of small businesses. According to another study, the average cost of each event related with a cyberattack for small businesses is $7.68 million. The requirement to detect and eliminate data breaches, as well as legal expenditures and regulatory fines, all contribute to the high cost. Furthermore, data breaches result in general material losses such as service price reductions, investor losses, and decreased corporate productivity.
The following are the most common effects of cyberattacks on small businesses:
- Data storage is being harmed. Personal information, order information, papers, and other data required for company operations can be erased or stolen. Data recovery is an expensive and time-consuming operation.
- Loose Reputation. According to a Verizon survey, 69 % believe that data security is critical for company politics. As a result, after a data breach, customers lose trust and refuse to engage with a company. Furthermore, potential clients may avoid business with a bad reputation.
- Litigations. A client can sue a corporation if their data falls into the hands of a third party, in our case, scammers. The more clients and stolen data , the more lawsuits and legal actions there are. Trial, on the other hand, is not only a time-consuming and unpleasant process, but it is also costly.
- Losing Money. All of the above result in significant expenses, as well as the loss of clients, investors, and income. The worst case scenario is a complete business bankruptcy and exit from the market.
But why are small businesses being targeted by scammers?
First, Cyberattacks are more common in small businesses. According to research, only 43% of small and mid-sized businesses in the United States and the United Kingdom have a data protection plan. Furthermore, some businesses do not deploy security techniques at all. Many businesses rely on cloud services that lack effective encryption technology. Furthermore, business owners do not believe their organizations’ systems can be hacked. According to study conducted by Towergate Insurance, 82 percent of small business owners do not believe their organization will be harmed by cyberattacks.
Second, Small businesses, according to ESET experts, are targeted by hackers because they have more data information than individuals and less protection than corporations.
And third, Small businesses can be exploited by large enterprises. Hackers can exploit flaws in small business systems to get access to enterprise systems that are well-protected.
A small HVAC business that partnered with Target and had remote access to the Target network experienced this. Scammers acquired Target’s network access credentials, then hacked the system and stole millions of credit card numbers.
Some techniques to avoid cyber-attacks.
1. Educate Employees.
Regular cybersecurity training and reminders might help you avoid a data leak. Employees should be aware that scammers can send emails on behalf of other employees requesting access credentials, passwords, or other forms of data, as well as material assistance. Furthermore, employees should be aware that utilizing a personal laptop or computer while at work is not safe. Cafes, airports, and hotels with insecure networks are particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks. Laptops can also be stolen. Teach your staff how to properly verify insecure networks and safeguard important information.
2. Implement a risk-based approach to cybersecurity.
This method assists in the identification, evaluation, and reduction of risk. It also focuses on the most critical locations and prioritizes the money based on safety concerns. As a result, this method lowers both risk and maintenance expenses.
3. Test your site, program, app, etc.
Without a question, testing is an important part of the development process that should not be overlooked. Penetration testing, for example, assists in the discovery of bottlenecks in secure regions. Penetration testing is usually a simulated cyberattack that finds flaws and blind spots in programming. Penetration testing provides a report detailing the risks and defects that the development team must address in order to increase data security.
4. Encrypt data.
You must safeguard data in two ways. First and foremost, to safeguard against a physical intrusion into a system. Second, data is encrypted to prevent scammers from accessing it. Encryption, according to experts, is a reliable approach to protect data in the event of a compromise. You can encrypt and preserve data in a variety of ways with several encryption apps. Some of it even encrypts a deleted version of a document, because scammers can recover it from hardware.
5. Backup data
Cyber hackers can sometimes prevent access to data or cause general damage to a company’s operations. Backup data and storing it separately are two solutions.
6. Regularly update software and OS.
Hackers’ talents are always improving, and their methods of breaching are becoming more sophisticated. However, software companies like as Apple and Microsoft develop new methods of security protection and release updates. Patching on a regular basis therefore protects against cyber-attacks. However, keep in mind that corporations may stop to support certain products and stop to offer updates for them.
As a result, even if you run a small business with fewer than a hundred employees, you are at great risk of being hacked. You can preserve and save critical data with a well-designed cybersecurity strategy. You may keep risks to a minimum by sticking to company security policies and developing a training strategy for employees.