Your Small Business and Data Security

When looking at data security, many people think they have a good amount of systems and safeguards in place to keep their data secure. Sure, you might have antivirus software and you may even update it frequently. You may also think that you’re too small of a company to be a target of a hacking attempt. Only big firms that have thousands of clients need to be concerned about cyber criminals, right? Wrong. Hackers and cyber criminals have actually escalated their focus on small businesses. We would like to help you understand the dangers your small business may be facing.

Small firms: low-hanging fruit

The truth is, hackers have discovered that small businesses are easier targets, and therefore are increasingly preying upon them. They are able to infiltrate their systems at a much faster rate, and with a better percentage of success as well. This means a cyber criminal can invade multiple targets in the time it would take them to lay siege to a better-guarded system with a higher level of data security. How can it be worth their while to steal from a mom and pop business? In the current modern world, just about any business employs digital payment processing methods. When your customers pay using a credit card, this data must run through your system to be validated. This represents a goldmine of information for hackers, as they can lift this data without being discovered. With your customers’ credit card numbers, addresses and names, they are able to make counterfeit charges on their accounts.

How hackers gain access to your data

Even though you probably have systems in position to defend your data, hackers will make use of several points of entry, so firewalls alone may not be enough. Malicious email attachments are among the biggest offenders. These attachments can leave your system wide open for data mining. This year alone in the first quarter, 6 million malware programs were found. Aside from these more high-tech tactics, cyber criminals also use low-tech methods to steal information. Telephone calls or even personal visits by someone pretending to be a network administrator or security firm can be damaging. We all hope our workers are smart enough not to be seduced by an obvious phishing scam, but it only takes one slip up to open yourself up for attack.

The buck stops with you

If you feel that maintaining data security is not important, take into account that should your systems be breached, your customers will in all probability hold you personally responsible for any stolen information or property. These kind of events cost companies thousands of dollars each year and can damage a company’s reputation so badly  that they have to close their doors forever.

An ounce of prevention…

Data security is extremely important and any extra precautions you can take can be sensible. Use strong passwords and update your existing security systems often. Educate your staff on safety measures they can take, such as creating strong passwords and never giving out login information. Hiring an outside consultant to help you ensure you and your client’s information is safe is another good idea. Simple measures can give you peace of mind that your systems are safe, and your clients will know you have their best interests at heart.

About tsgnetworks

TSG Networks provides IT services to businesses and non-profit organizations that wish to focus on furthering their missions by leaving technology to the experts.
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