June 6, 2012

Small Businesses Increasingly Targeted for Data Breaches

by Jaimie Siegle | Advertising Systems Inc.

A new study by The Hartford reports that small businesses are becoming increasingly targeted for data breaches, but the majority of small business owners believe such an event is unlikely.

Sound familiar? You’re not alone. About 85 percent of survey participants believed they were not at risk, and most were therefore guilty of not taking necessary precautions to prevent data breaches. Nevertheless, the study found that more than half of the participating small businesses said a breach would jeopardize relationships with customers, partners, and employees. (Speaking of “breach,” have you changed your LinkedIn password lately?) In addition, costs to rectify the damages can be pricey.

Most businesses admitted using one or more of the prevention tactics listed below. Use the tips as a checklist to strengthen your data’s defense against theft and security breaches.

1. Lock and secure sensitive patient, customer, or employee data

2. Restrict employee access to sensitive data

3. Shred and securely dispose of sensitive data

4. Use password protection and data encryption

5. Have a privacy policy

6. Update systems and software regularly

7. Use firewalls to control access and lock out hackers

8. Ensure remote access to company network is secure

Read more about the survey here.

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