Data security matters, especially when you're running a small business

When running a small business, you might think that data protection doesn't apply to you but only to large organizations. But you're not safe only because you have fewer clients and offer a more limited range of services. Cybercriminals target small businesses as often as they target large corporations to steal their sensitive information, so data protection should be paramount for you. By implementing data security, you maintain a good reputation, secure sensitive information, avoid operational downtime, and prevent dealing with legal issues. 

Data protection and cybersecurity should be priorities for companies of all sizes because as technology evolves, so do the techniques bad actors use to steal data. Neglecting to take a proactive approach could expose your business to damage.  

What is data protection?

We use the term data protection to refer to the numerous techniques and tools you can use to guard your sensitive data against any data theft, corruption, or compromise. If you employ the proper strategies, you can protect your business and clients from becoming victims of phishing schemes and identity theft. The assets you want to protect against cybercriminals are clients' and employees' names, email addresses, medical information, phone numbers, home addresses, credit cards and bank details. 

Data breaches seem inevitable these days

If you have read the news recently, you know that it's almost inevitable to become the target of cybercriminals because data breaches are quite frequent events. However, experts show a specific concern for small companies as the number of breaches among them is higher than among large corporations. The main reason behind it is that small companies don't have the same resources to protect their data or neglect to do it trying to save money. 

But how can you be sure that you're not a target?

When you leave your data unprotected, you are playing right into the hands of hackers. These criminals don't target specific companies, but they're looking for vulnerabilities everywhere, and if they can exploit yours, they don't skip a beat. They don't care how small or large a business is, if it has vulnerable data worth stealing, they will target it. 

If hackers breach your servers and steal sensitive information, it can mean the end to your business as you know it. They can use data for malicious purposes and make you liable for a data breach compensation claim. At this link, you can find more about how customers can ask for compensation for the damage they suffer when businesses fail to protect their information. 

You might have the misconception that cybercriminals need your clients or employees' social security number or credit card to engage in fraudulent activities. Still, the sad truth is that they can even use their birthdates and email addresses for phishing scams. 

Understanding the several risks you expose your business to when you lack data protection

As you have already seen, your business is as much at risk as any other company. While large corporations have a more expansive range of tools to use to deal with such situations, a small or medium company will definitely struggle to survive this kind of incident. 

It's essential to understand how a data breach could impact your business, so you take data protection seriously. 

You will face credibility issues

A significant risk when failing to secure data is losing credibility among your customers and employees. Even when the data breach doesn't specifically affect them, they'll hear about your neglect to secure their sensitive information and will have issues trusting your brand in the future. You'll deal with the situation when people no longer trust you to provide you with their information. The loss of trust can also lead to a significant portion of your customers choosing your competitors. They'll try to find a business that meets their needs and protects their data. 

You will lose money

When you lose data, you also lose money. Data breaches are some of the most financially daunting problems a business can face. Statistics show that data breach events have become more costly for victims over the years, and considering the financial losses a business can deal with, it's vital to protect information properly. 

A data breach is costly because it implies dealing with the consequences of it. You need to pay for an investigator to identify the factors that led to the data breach, invest in new security measures, pay compensation to your clients, and cover legal fees. 

You can face legal action

This is another issue you can face when investing in data protection. Data protection regulations worldwide require businesses to take the necessary actions to protect all sensitive data they process. When cybercriminals steal and compromise your data, your customers and employees can take legal action against you and claim compensation for their damage. 

Suppose you lose the case; you'll have to pay compensation, which could turn pretty expensive. Besides the resources you spend on paying compensation, you also have to cover the expenses related to legal defence and reputational damage. 

You'll lose data

As expected, when you are the victim of a data breach, you implicitly lose sensitive information, and your business will be affected in several ways. Cybercriminals can do a lot of damage when they have access to personal information, and often they commit fraud. Hackers usually target sensitive data because it's quite valuable, so don't be surprised to find out that they're after your customers or employees' IP addresses, financial details, or contact information. Besides the effects this has on your customer's data, it can also harm your company's operations because cybercriminals usually delete data after stealing it. 

Final words

Now that you can comprehend the many risks you expose your business to by neglecting to protect your data, you might focus more on putting the necessary resources to boost data security. You can discuss with cybersecurity specialists the tools available to protect your business against hackers and prevent becoming the victim of a data breach.