Small Businesses Could Use Holiday Season to Prepare for Data Breaches

Small Businesses Could Use Holiday Season to Prepare for Data Breaches

While small business owners across the country certainly have more than enough to worry about when it comes to keeping their companies running as smoothly as possible during the holiday season, that might create a unique opportunity for cyber criminals to target them with hacking attacks. As a consequence, it’s probably wise for entrepreneurs to do some basic checkups and make sure they’re less vulnerable to a data breach.

Unfortunately for companies of any size, data breaches happen and there’s usually no way to be 100 percent guaranteed that an organization is safe, but there are measures that every business can take to better protect itself, according to a report from Experian Data Breach Resolution. Small business owners in particular may want to do some basic system maintenance, such as making sure antivirus and firewall software is in place and constantly updated, as well as training staff about how to spot some of the more low-tech “phishing scams” that are growing quite popular, to make sure they’re safe.

“An organization categorized as a ‘small business,’ may still manage a large amount of confidential data, including customer and employee records,” said Michael Bruemmer, vice president at Experian Data Breach Resolution. “It’s critical for these businesses that they take steps to prevent a breach and prepare for the chance that a breach might occur. An incident response plan is a critical part of that preparation.”

Often, smaller companies don’t have the resources in place that their larger competitors might when it comes to system security. Typically, these independent enterprises are struggling to achieve a number of goals at once and operating on thin margins, meaning that they likely don’t have preventing data breaches either at the fore or built into their budgets. That in particular may make them more vulnerable, and thus more likely to be targeted by hackers looking for an easy way to gain access to plenty of sensitive data.

Many owners learn the hard way just how much dealing with the fallout from a data breach can cost, with price tags reaching into the tens of thousands of dollars or more. Luckily, there is a type of small business insurance – known as tech insurance – that can help to remediate those costs when they unfortunately arise. Without it, any smaller company hit with such an attack may not be able to absorb the financial blow.