July 18, 2019

Do You Realize How High The Risk Of A Data Breach Is For Your Small Business?

Do you have any idea how high the risk of a data breach is for your small business? For every high-profile case like the Target data breach at the end of 2013, there are hundreds of data breaches experienced by small businesses owners across the country. If you thought there was no risk of a data breach because it only happens to the big boys and your confidential information is safe because of your size, you couldn’t be more wrong.

Since January 2012, California has seen the equivalent a major data breach every 2-½ days, and those include only the data breaches that have been reported. The risk of a data breach is increasing by the day.  The majority of data breaches often go unreported and, even more frightening, many go unnoticed.

The Risk Of A Data Breach

risk of a data breach, zephyr networks

Risk of a Data Breach

Jason Oxman, chief executive of the Electronic Transactions Association, told the Los Angeles times that, “We are absolutely facing an epidemic of attacks on our nation’s infrastructure and attempts to gain access to information… smaller merchants tend to be easier and more attractive targets for cyber criminals.” Although the big problems like Heartbleed make headlines, the threats to confidential data held by everyday enterprises – dentist offices, colleges, financial consultants, Specialty Retailers and the list goes on and on – tend to fly under the radar. This reality does not surprise Zephyr Networks.

The dark underside of the current American economy is populated by not only the prototypical nerdy hackers, but by organized crime operatives who steal office computers and ex-employees who take the information given in trusted confidence and sell it to the highest bidder. The risk of a data breach comes from many different dark sources.

If more than 500 Californians are affected, the institution must give the attorney general’s office a copy of the advisory letter sent to potential victims. More than 380 of these letters have been posted since the program began in January 2012 — which equates to a major breach in the state every 2-½ days.

Risk Of A Data Breach Growing

Still, these are only the companies coming forward, admitting what has happened to them, and taking responsibility. The risk of a data breach also includes the risk of losing business due to the scandal. A good percentage of small to mid-sized companies hit by data breaches bury the truth. Such a bad decision is the result of the fear that a data breach will permanently damage their business. What is problematic is their fear is based in reality because public data breaches often erode a company’s client base while damaging their reputation. This is the price brought on by casually accepting the risk of a data breach.

Despite the prevalence of data breaches and equipment thefts, many small firms know little or nothing about cybersecurity. The National Small Business Association reported that 44% of respondents to a survey last year had been victims of at least one cyberattack or data breach, with an average $8,699.48 cost for each breach. Accepting the risk of a data breach often proves costly.

Understanding The Risk Of A Data Breach

Zephyr Networks understands that California’s size and wealth make its businesses a popular target. Companies that process, store or transmit credit and debit card data are expected by card companies and payment processors to abide by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, a checklist of protocols known as PCI. But many of the 8 million U.S. businesses that accept credit and debit cards simply ignore this requirement.

Small-business owners often leave themselves vulnerable, increasing the risk of a data breach, by browsing social media or messaging friends on the same computer used to process financials. Others allow employees to log in to company networks remotely using easily stolen passwords or credentials. “It’s an economic calculation for a small merchant — is it more expensive to secure the network, or pay for the damages that may result if not?” Oxman said. “But many don’t consider the possible reputational harm. If you’re a small business, you might not be able to withstand the drop in business that might result from a breach.”

Minimizing The Risk Of A Data Breach

If you are a small business in Orange County, Zephyr Networks has a proven history of providing cybersecurity solutions that are affordable and tailored for each specific company. We know how to miminize the risk of a data breach for your company. To find out more, please contact Zephyr Networks by calling 800.884.7559.