2019 was another busy year for the hackers as they managed to carry out cyber-attacks and data breaches successfully across major sectors like governments, businesses, hospitals, and schools. Like every year, data breaches have always followed an incremental slope and this is why it is a major concern for small businesses. Data breaches can cause substantial financial losses and also creating a denting image to an organization’s reputation. To any business, data breaches results in an array of damages like- lost businesses, regulatory fines as well as remediation costs.
Talking about small businesses, they are looking to build trust amongst their target customers with their products and services. It takes a great effort in terms of time for small businesses to create trust around their customers. Whenever a small business undergoes data breaches it results in loss of faith and credibility amongst their potential customers.
Why Small Businesses Are Vulnerable?
- Small businesses are more vulnerable to data breaches and cyber-attacks because small businesses don’t have the required detection methods that can be used in case of a breach. Due to a lack of resources, some data breaches taking place on the small businesses might even go unnoticed.
- Another reason why small businesses serve as soft-targets for data breaches is that small companies don’t enforce and prioritize cybersecurity while allocating their budgets. Lack of budget for cybersecurity often results in less attention towards acquiring the top cybersecurity talent that might be of great help when data breaches happen.
Preventing Data Breaches in Small Businesses
Small businesses are more susceptible to data breaches as they have a less number of resources that are needed to overcome. The small businesses have stringent cash margins, lower cash flow and relatively less number of trained employees who can tackle any such unforeseen events.
However, the following are the methods that small businesses can follow to make them a difficult target for any data breach.
Small businesses must carry out extensive planning to overcome any data breach events. They also need to have a well-defined structure with clear pointers to the targets that are going to be achieved and the approach to get these executed. The data breach prevention plan of a small business can also act as a reference guide when dealing with any potential data breach like issues. The data breach prevention plan needs to be dynamic and highly adaptable to overcome any ever-changing threats.
For any business, be it small or large, their website depicts their digital identity. The site contains critical information regarding the small business and their end customers. It should be the top priority for small businesses to secure this crucial information at all costs. For securing the critical information present on the site, small businesses can deploy a website vulnerability scanner that detects the presence of any vulnerability, malware, or even threats and reports them to the small business owner. A website vulnerability scanner helps the business owners to gain knowledge about any alteration that might have been performed on their website.
Small business owners must take a proactive effort to enhance the level of awareness within their entire business landscape regarding security threats as well as cybersecurity prevention techniques. As small businesses are resource-stringent in nature, there are times when they don’t consider the significance of strong cybersecurity that needs to be deployed in their organizations. It is inevitably necessary to prioritize security levels over profit margins. Thus, the small business owners must educate their employees well about the importance of cybersecurity and how they can overcome it in case of any such foreseen event.
Small businesses don’t have many resources as compared to large businesses. Due to this, the employees of this business segment often tend to use the same resources for their personal and professional uses. When similar resources are used, it enhances the chances of risk penetration in the business. The businesses must deploy the usage of dedicated resources to avoid cyber risks. In this way, the small businesses can secure their data from data breaches.
As of today, no software exists that has been developed to identify and prevent data breaches. However, there are certain methods for preventing data breaches with the help of technology. Businesses irrespective of their sizes have started encrypting their sensitive and personally identifiable information and overcoming the risks. Encryption can also be a handy tool in case of a security breach. During a security breach, if the hacker manages to steal any user-critical data, then it is of no use to him as the data is scrambled and entirely without any meaning.
On a concluding note, it is needless to say that the risk of cybersecurity is rising. In the case of small businesses, they can act as potential targets as they are short on key resources that can be used for overcoming such data breaches. Small businesses can also follow the precautions mentioned above and secure themselves against data breaches.
security breach concept -DepositPhotos