Many Small Businesses May Be Vulnerable to Data Breaches

Many Small Businesses May Be Vulnerable to Data Breaches

Millions of small businesses nationwide likely control a large amount of sensitive information for either customers or clients, or even themselves, and in the event that this data is exposed somehow, there can be a substantial amount of liability involved. It is for this reason that many such companies might want to do all they can to increase their security against these incidents, and from the potential fallout as well, and the latter can often be accomplished with tech insurance policies.

The amount of information even a relatively small business may control at any time can be substantial, comprising payment data for all customers, clients or workers, as well as personal details in many cases, according to a report from legal resource site For instance, sales data, customer mailing lists, social media activity, payroll information and the like is all considered to be extremely sensitive and could put people at risk in the event of some kind of incident that would expose it to the world, or even potentially do so.

One of the biggest issues many companies may have when dealing with potential data breaches is that they may not realize the many different ways in which these incidents can take place at all, let alone how they can go about adequately protecting themselves from them, the report said. For example, a technological failure – such as a compromised server or firewall – is one that can lead to the exposure of potentially massive amounts of data, and against which many smaller companies especially might be lacking proper protection. Along similar lines, many owners might not consider their relatively small independent enterprises to be targets for hackers or thieves (which sometimes are actually either current or past employees), but many online criminals are now turning their attentions to attacking companies of this size specifically because of their lack of wherewithal when it comes to protecting themselves. Meanwhile, thieves will steal portable devices such as laptops or tablet PCs often without even realizing the value of the data stored on it, but that nonetheless creates the potential for a data breach, which has to be treated with the utmost care.

Finally, human error plays a major role in these incidents, as many workers or even third-party partners might not know how to properly safeguard such information from breaches, the report said. The results can be disastrous, but the result of an innocuous email, or simply logging onto an unsecured WiFi hotspot.

Why do these data breach threat problems persist?
When dealing with properly protecting data, it might come as no surprise to many owners that the risk for the vast majority of these incidents may be the result of companies simply not having enough resources to properly protect sensitive information. For instance, best practices for data protection dictate that companies should have IT professionals on staff to continually update and secure all company computer systems, but for many small businesses this is simply not a feasibly hire. Likewise, these enterprises may not have the ability or time to properly educate all other workers about the best ways to properly protect it themselves, or even to install simple safeguards like firewall or anti-virus programs across all computers on their networks.

It is for this reason that small business insurance policies such as tech insurance can be so vital to protecting companies after the fact. These can help to remediate breach costs, which can potentially run into the millions of dollars and therefore significantly endanger a company’s financial wellbeing.