Being the owner of a hosting company, I see thousands of data breach attempts on a weekly basis. The attempts are crafty, pointed, and have one purpose–breaching our servers. Even though we’ve invested exorbitant amounts of time and money to protect our infrastructure, it still makes us nervous.
You too should be nervous, as the target of a potential data breach is small to medium business infrastructure as much as it is that of a large corporation.
During my normal online reading this morning, I came across an infographic from an insurance agency that actually provides business policies that include data breach coverage. Before showing you their infographic, I’ll verbally walk you through some of the risks.
What Do You Have To Risk?
All businesses have certain levels of confidential information. These include employee information associated with payroll, confidential client information, and access to banking applications. These are all your responsibility and access to them or key information related to them is likely on a computer or other digital device in your infrastructure.
Are You A Target?
According to data collected by the U.S. Secret Service, small business-targeted computer breaches are up from 27% in 2009 to a whopping 63% of all cyber crimes reported in 2010. They further report 95% of all credit card breaches are against small businesses. In another survey referenced on the graphic, 52% of small business owners reported they had no data security policy. The cyber criminals know this and that is why they target small business owners. Good criminals always follow the money and smart ones go where there is easy money.
What Do You Do To Prevent A Data Breach?
A literal book could be written about data protection and small to medium sized businesses. In lieu of writing that book in this post, I’ll boil it down to the following short list.
- Hire an outside firm to upgrade key digital components (computer software, firewall software, etc.) and to advise where you can outsource key infrastructure to a provider that is better equipped to fight cybercrime than you are (e.g. email and applications placed in the cloud).
- Educate your or hire a trainer to educate your employees on the the dangers and everyday tricks being used by hackers and cyber criminals. In many cases, organizations like the Secret Service provide presentations in the community that you can attend.
- Have a clear-cut financial and legal plan in the event that you do have a data breach. This would include updating core client agreements to limit damages and assessing business insurance policies that can help you to mitigate both the irradiation of the breach and the expenses incurred by your business in the recovery efforts.
© 2011 Generational Equity, LLC All Rights Reserved