No Small Business is Safe from Data Breaches
Macy’s, T-Mobile and restaurant chains like Moe’s, McAlister’s Deli, and Schlotsky’s have all suffered data breaches. That kind of thing only happens to them, right? Wrong. In 2020, if you own a small business and have a technology budget, security is the most significant investment you can make.
What are some other technology investments? It could be your accounting system or a customer relationship management application. There is marketing software and tools to manage your inventory.
According to a recent report from Bank of America’s Merchant Services, more than one in five small businesses reported a data breach within the past 24 months. Out of those businesses, 41 percent reported losses of more than $50,000. Cyber-attacks have been known to cause small businesses to shut down for days, sometimes weeks. Can you endure something like that?
No organization can claim that their customer, employee and company data is 100 percent secure. However, there are practical steps you can take to prevent these attacks:
- A good firewall – The equipment provided by your Internet provider is not enough. Whatever you must spend on a commercial grade firewall, it is worth it. You can have an expert configure it for you.
- Back it up! - You cannot travel back in time. Thus, you cannot save your data once it is breached. Onsite and offsite backups, with version control, are essential.
- Use the most current operating systems – Are you using Microsoft Windows? Update it. Any new security bugs will not be fixed by Microsoft if you are still running an older operating system. This is especially critical for businesses in industries that require them to stay compliant and protect their customer data.
- The cloud – Moving your data online is not less secure. This is a common myth. Tens of thousands of small businesses across the nation use managed service firms that host both data and applications. They provide a higher level of protection and access from any device. Most importantly, they ensure that their clients’ systems are regularly backed up, updated and protected from data breaches.
The only thing more important than security, as far as your 2020 technology budget is concerned, is training. Software and services are useless without properly trained employees. According to a recent study from IBM, more than 25 percent of data breaches last year alone were caused by human error. Invest in training so that your employees can recognize threats from websites and downloaded files.
Finally, commit to a regular tech assessment. Have an expert scan your networking environment for any security gaps. Do not waste that tech budget on more technology. Instead, invest in the tools, services and training that will protect your data.
The Law Office of H. Benjamin Sharlin LLC
is owned and operated by H. Benjamin Sharlin and serves all of Mercer County, New Jersey and the surrounding areas. Mr. Sharlin is a bilingual Spanish-speaking attorney who vigorously represents the interests of all his clients.
Call (609) 585-0606 or click the button below to schedule an appointment