Across the country, millions of small businesses may be even more vulnerable to suffering costly data breaches than they often realize, for a number of reasons. However, the state of California is now trying to help reduce their risk of suffering such incidents by giving companies some information about how they can arise and what can be done to protect against them.
The office of California attorney general Kamala Harris and the California Chamber of Commerce recently came together to release guidelines that could help to show companies not only within the Golden State but nationwide exactly how at-risk for suffering a data breach they might be, according to a report from the Washington Post. The fact of the matter is that many companies run a significant likelihood of being affected if such an incident were to impact them, and unfortunately, more criminals seem to be turning their attentions toward hitting such organizations simply because they don’t have the more stringent security measures available to larger industry participants.
“There are a lot of businesses that are worried about payroll and taxes and health care; they don’t have millions, or even thousands, to spend on security,” Kevin Mahaffey co-founder of Lookout, a San Francisco mobile security firm that helped to build the state’s guidelines, told the newspaper. “We identified these steps to help provide businesses with material, make it simple and let them understand what they can do to really reduce their risk.”
What are the easiest measures to undertake?
Because so few small business owners can spend freely on IT security infrastructure, perhaps the best possible way to ensure that data breaches don’t hit them is by simply making sure that they’re doing all they can to make themselves and their employees aware of the threat they face and some common indicators of a potential issue, the report said. This way, they’ll be able to spot warning signs and make sure they don’t fall prey to a scheme designed to rip off unsuspecting companies. The more knowledge they attain – through careful study and training – the better protected they will be at a baseline level.
Owners worried about the costs of suffering a data breach may want to invest in a type of small business insurance designed specifically to protect them from such fallout. This kind of coverage, known as tech insurance, can insulate independent companies from costs that can reach into the tens of thousands and beyond following a breach.