When looking at data security, you may think you have enough safeguards in place to safeguard your small business. After all, you most likely regularly update your antivirus software and other security protocols too. And it’s not as if you’re a large company that has to stress about having their systems breached by advanced hacking techniques. With thousands of sensitive customer records on file, these big firms are the ones who must worry about cyber attacks, right? In fact, digital thieves have significantly escalated their efforts with regards to stealing from small businesses. To help you learn more about your level of danger, let’s look at this important topic in greater detail below.
Small firms: low-hanging fruit
The truth is, hackers have found that small businesses are easier targets, and therefore are increasingly preying upon them. They are able to infiltrate their systems at a much faster rate, and with a better percentage of success as well. This means a cyber criminal can attack multiple targets in the time it would take them to lay siege to a better-guarded system with a higher level of data security. How can it be worth their while to steal from a mom and pop business? In today’s modern world, virtually every business makes use of digital payment processing methods. Whenever your customers pay using a credit card, this data must run through your system to be verified. This represents a goldmine of information for hackers, as they can lift this data without being discovered. With your customers’ credit card numbers, addresses and names, they are able to make counterfeit charges on their accounts.
How hackers gain access to your data
Hackers usually take a multiple-point-of-entry approach when trying to breach your company. Don’t be fooled that email is the sole method a hacker will try to infiltrate you. While malicious email attachments are the most widely used tactics that hackers use to mine data from a company, additionally they use low-tech methods as well. Direct phone calls to lower level employees or possibly a in-office visit pretending to be system administrator are some of the low-tech ways criminals may target your company. You might believe your workers are impervious to these seemingly evident ploys, but it only takes one mistake to open your company up to an attack.
The buck stops with you
Many people believe that since credit card companies are usually responsible for any deceptive charges that occur from a hacking event, that data security isn’t crucial. While this may be true for a consumer, for a business owner the outcome may be very different. Consumers will hold you responsible personally should their information be stolen. Damage control after an attack can cost an organization thousands of dollars and in some cases a single attack can spell the end of business in general.
An ounce of prevention…
Data security is critical and any extra precautions you can take would be sensible. Use strong passwords and update your existing security systems regularly. Educate your employees on safety measures they can take, such as creating strong passwords and never giving out login information. Hiring an outside consultant to help you ensure you and your client’s information is safe is another good idea. Simple measures can give you peace of mind that your systems are safe, and your clients will know you have their best interests at heart.