Small businesses typically handle a lot of sensitive data that can affect both their customers and their entire business. As cyberattacks have become more and more common, small business owners have to make effort to assess the risks that their businesses faces when it come to the handling and storing of online data. To mitigate this risk, small businesses need to make efforts into preventing this data from being stolen or being used in a way that will hurt its customers or its business.
With that in mind, here is what small business owners may want to worry with their cybersecurity efforts when it comes to protecting their small business.
When it comes to the possibility of a cyberattack, customers have just as much if not more to lose then a small business owner does. When a customer gives you their credit card information, their addresses, and in some cases their date of birth or even social security number, they trust and expect you to keep their information safe. This is called customer confidence, and once that confidence is breached, it is almost impossible to regain that confidence.
To maintain this customer confidence, you need to consider where to store their data and how to keep it safe. This can be done through a data room, which has encrypted cloud, storage, or some other form of software that provides additional protection. Without taking this measure, it can be easy to lose customers if they become aware that their data has been compromised in some way.
When filing your business financials, including tax returns, budgets, and detailed business financial metrics, you should consider taking additional security measures. Cybercriminals can easily access these types of files if you save and store them to your hard drive or a shareable cloud drive. Having all of this financial information in one place and easily can be helpful, but it can also cause serious problems if your business financials are accessed by cybercriminals.
If you have designs on launching or building out a new product or service, then you need to take measures to make sure that these plans are not seen by your business competitors. It is more common now than ever for a competitor to hire someone to steal your information, including your customers’ contact details. This is called competitive espionage, and is a very real threat, even for small businesses. This kind of cybersecurity breach can be devastating when trying to stay ahead of your competitors or when competing with them to build customer confidence and trust. For this reason, it can also be very helpful to make sure you have a security system that will alert you to suspicious activity.
You probably also have data about your employees on your hard drive or in the cloud. This can include their social security numbers, addresses, marital status, healthcare information, and much more. When this information is leaked, it can undermine the trust you have built with your employees, sometimes for years. As such, it’s often worth the trouble to ensure that your employees’ data is just as secure as your customers’ data is.
Infographic provided by Donnelley Financial Services, ESG data management