SMB Data Breaches: What You Need to Know to Stay Secureby Courtney Myers Professional Writer and Editor
You might think that as a small business owner, you’re immune to some of the challenges that plague leaders of larger companies. After all, your bottom line may be significantly smaller, your workforce more condensed and contained and your reach might not be as global. Yet, the reality is that if your organization is creating or receiving any data at all (it is), you could be affected by a data breach.
Studies show that in 2017 alone, there were more than 1. 5 million data breaches recorded, with a staggering 178.9 million records exposed. Especially if you operate within the healthcare or banking realm, you could be privy to confidential and secure client information. Therefore, it is imperative that you understand why and how breaches occur, and why North America leads the way on data breaches year over year.
In this country, the cost of doing business is higher than in other parts of the world. Yet, the opportunities are greater, too. So, why does this region incur such a cost for a data breach while other regions can mitigate the same problem for less? The answer lies in the fact that our country is one of the largest exporters of professional services in the world. That means we’re putting our sensitive data into the hands of third parties and trusting them to manage it appropriately.
Moreover, if and when a breach occurs, most companies in North America will turn to an outside agency to help them correct the issue. After all, data leakages are one of the most critical IT threats to a company’s working environment (discover more here). Those types of services don’t come cheap and can set a SMB back substantially. Yet, it’s an action that must be performed, as reclaiming customer trust is essential to recapturing their business.
The above is especially true for SMB companies that might not have a technical support employee on full-time staff and need access to a team of experts who can remediate the problem as quickly as possible. In the business world, speed and agility come with a price tag and if you want the breach reversed, you may have to pay more out of pocket, at least in the short-term. It’s worth it though -- data breaches are
Another reason why American SMBs are hit especially hard financially when it comes to a data breach is that leaders in these firms often spend money on repairing their brand image after a breach, especially if it’s still in its infancy. From ramping up employee training to submitting press releases and launching a new marketing campaign, there are myriad ways that a company can demonstrate outwardly to its clientele that it’s working hard to reverse any negative impacts a breach might have had on their business.
In addition to paying in terms of online reputation and customer trust, companies who experience a data breach might also incur extra costs due to new fines and other monetary penalties enacted by regulating federal bodies. While North America has delayed implementing a rigid set of data security regulations, experts predict it won’t be too much longer until such guidelines and standards are in place. One can look to the General Data Protection Regulation, which just took effect in the European Union, for an example.
While spending money on a robust data security system might seem like a significant investment at first, it’s important to adopt a long-term perspective. At first, you may consider how much quicker and more inexpensive data recovery efforts can be with these tools at your disposal. Then, you’ll realize that they’ll soon pay for themselves in terms of boosted customer retention, improved brand loyalty and a secured company reputation.
Created on May 28th 2018 23:17. Viewed 281 times.