According to a 2016 report from the United States National Security Cyber Alliance, a whopping 60 percent of small businesses that suffer an incident of data breach will go out of business within six months. The cost of fixing a data breach averages $690,000 for small businesses. Not many small businesses can absorb sudden costs of that kind. Here are some steps small businesses need to take to avoid a data breach.
Monitor All Sensitive Data
Once upon a time just blocking access to data was enough to keep hackers at bay. Now that rule no longer applies. Data can be read despite how many antivirus programs are used. Always monitor any source trying to access data. If a file is accessed, find out where the file information was sent.
Train All Employees on Data Protocol and Policies
Never assume that all employees know how to safely store data or spot any signs of suspicious activity. Make sure they are trained in how to safely store, move and monitor data. Make sure they know who is supposed to have access and who is not. Get these policies written down and a copy to every employee. Work with a cyber security firm to improve policies to keep sensitive data secure and make all employees know about any change immediately.
Check Any Internet Capable Device
Smartphones, tablets, desktops, laptops and a host of other devices that connect to the Internet are doorways from data to the outside world. One unsecured device leaves a big open door for a hacker to get through. Make sure each employee uses only devices that have been approved by the company. Drop any Bring Your Own Device policy when possible and have the employees only use devices owned by the company. Shut down any device not in use.
Monitor All Cloud Sharing Data
Storing data on the cloud has helped many businesses. However, that data is only as secure as the cloud program being used. This is entirely out of a user’s control. No sensitive data should be stored on the cloud. Any employee’s activity on the cloud should be monitored by the company. Any data that is on the cloud needs constant monitoring to find out where it is being shared or accessed. Rethink using the cloud for a small business.