In recent years, cyber-theft and data loss have dominated business news headlines. Giant retailers like Target have paid out millions in settlement dollars after network security breaches resulted in the loss of credit card and other sensitive information for customers across the country. In Target’s case, experts estimate about 40 million consumers had their credit cards hacked by cyber-criminals. Verizon has become one of the latest causalities in the cyber-crime arena. A flaw in the company’s systems allowed a hacker to steal the contact information of as many as 1.5 million customers.
These are obviously some of the biggest companies in the world; unquestionably, the losses are huge – and the damage to these companies’ reputations is also costly – but they are large enough to absorb these hits without much lasting damage. But what happens when small businesses are targeted by data thieves? How can you protect your business from a cyber-attack?
Small Businesses and Cyber-security
Many small business owners mistakenly believe that cyber-crime is not a threat that should be on their radar. According to data security experts, small businesses are also targets – and the stakes may be even higher for small- to mid-size businesses. According to one recent story, a restaurant in Washington state recently closed its doors after hackers stole 22 credit card numbers through the restaurant’s payment processing system. On average, the out-of-pocket cost for a small business to recover from a data breach is $38,000. Business owners can also expect to pay an additional $8,000 in indirect recovery costs. Without the financial resources to recover from such a disaster, many small businesses have no choice but to shut down completely.
Protecting Your Business from Data Breaches
Fortunately, there are ways small business owners can guard against cyber-theft attacks. Experts suggest starting with educating employees about data and system integrity. Although business owners must give employees enough flexibility to perform their job duties, they must also be mindful of limiting employees’ access to any computer system. In other words, your company’s computer network should not be an open door to anyone with login credentials.
Business owners should also take the time to create more complicated passwords, which are harder to hack. For example, stay away from one-word passwords, such as a pet’s name or the town you grew up in. Instead, incorporate a mix of letters and symbols. You should also refrain from using the same password over and over across accounts.
Protect Your Business – Roseville Business Lawyers
Interested in learning more about how you can grow and protect your business? Call Yee Law Group, PC, PC today at (916) 599-7297 to speak to a knowledgeable business lawyer about the next steps for your business. Our lawyers have decades of experience helping California business owners achieve their goals.