We’ve all heard about the recent major cybersecurity breaches that occurred within the ranks of Sony, Target and the like, but if you are the owner of a small business or someone who is trying to become an entrepreneur – should cybersecurity be of any concern?
The answer is a resounding yes. New statistics should give those who already live in the entrepreneurial world and also those just entering pause. As seen in the 2012 Verizon Data Breach Report, small companies with less than 100 employees account for 71% of all data breaches.
The most common reason for becoming the target of a cybersecurity attack? Opportunity. Just like locking the doors of your car or your home, the digital aspects of your business need to be locked and protected from easy harm. The Verizon report found that victims were chosen simply because they were easy targets, employing little to no data security of any kind – and with intermediate (or even simple) controls, 97% of breaches were avoidable.
You can read more of the Verizon Report here.
How do these breaches happen? Simple mistakes made by business owners or their employees, like clicking on a malicious link in an email – can cause major havoc. Think you don’t have any data anyone would want to steal? Do you keep the personal information of clients on file, like credit card numbers? Do you have proprietary information saved on your laptops or phones? Any sensitive information can become an issue if it ends up in the wrong hands.
I have a small business, and there’s no way I can afford an IT department – what can I do to protect my data? I’m looking at buying a small business – what can I do to ensure my new business doesn’t fall prey to hackers? According to this article from Inc., the best thing you can do is educate yourself and educate your staff on the importance of cybersecurity. If you already own a small business, make staying on top of current threats a priority. If you are looking to buy a business, make cybersecurity education one of the first new things you implement on day one.
What else can I do to keep my data safe? You can outsource your cybersecurity needs. In the article The Big Business Of Hacking Small Business, Leo Shipley of Black Duck Software suggests that by outsourcing your cybersecurity needs, you can protect your data in the same way a very large company does – but without having to hire an IT department.
Are you a small business owner who has never considered the security of your data? Are you looking to buy a business and are curious about what you can do to protect your new investment? Please feel free to leave comments or questions here.
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