We’ve gotten to a point where we’re desensitized to the idea of a data breach. With high profile cases like Equifax and Target, it seems like data breaches are sometimes inevitable, and not as consequential as we once thought. But, if your small business is the next victim of a data breach, are you able to withstand the blow?
That might not be as much of a hypothetical now as it was in the past. According to Bank of America Merchant Services Third Annual Small Business Spotlight, as reference in a recent report by the New York Post, about 21 percent of small businesses have reported being victimized by a data breach over the last two years, which is up from about 17 percent over the course of a similar time period from two years ago.
As more of our data and information finds its way online, and more companies use digital commerce, more thieves and criminals have made it a point to retrieve this data.
Now, it’s clear that a cyber-criminal would reap the same kind of return tinkering with small businesses versus focusing on larger companies with access to more consequential data. Even though in the past that might have served as somewhat of a natural deterrent, according to statistics, it might not matter so much anymore.
In general, as more and more data is available digitally, a savvy cyber-criminal might not necessarily be looking for the biggest score. Instead, they’re now focusing on the easiest scores - and your small business probably fits right into their modus operandi.
And for your small business – which might house sensitive data like credit card numbers and bank accounts - it would behoove you to take steps to protect your business) from vulnerabilities that could lead to a cyber breach. The reason is simple.
According to the Bank of America Merchant Services Third Annual Small Business Spotlight, 30 percent of consumers surveyed said they would not continue to do business with a small business involved in a data breach.
You can’t blame them. In a highly competitive business world, the risk won’t be worth it if they don’t feel their data - credit card and bank information, address, name, etc., - won’t be safe with you.
IBM Security & Ponemon Institute’s Cost of a Data Breach Report 2019 reveals that it takes almost 300 days (nearly a year) for the average person to realize that they’ve had their data breached.
Our advice? Don’t wait until you’ve already been affected and scared off a portion of your customer-base. Find ways to protect yourself and your business today.