Data breaches pose a significant risk to Huntsville businesses. Research shows that an incredible 60% of small businesses that suffer a cyber attack are out of business within six months. What’s more, 61% of businesses who fall victim to these attacks have fewer than 1,000 employees.

Many of the attacks that harm these businesses are simple in nature, yet businesses still fall for them. Small mistakes – opening the wrong attachment, losing a USB stick, or forgetting to prevent former employees connecting to systems – can make the difference between success and failure.

Four Small Mistakes That Can Lead to Data Breaches

These small mistakes are made by small businesses again and again:

1. Losing an Unencrypted Laptop, Smartphone or USB

Relying on standard password protection is not enough. It is easy for someone to break into an unencrypted device and steal the data from it. This threat used to be contained to laptops and USB drives, but modern smartphones can hold just as much sensitive data – and they are easy to lose.

2. Failing To Use Security Best Practice To Prevent Hackers

Even the smallest businesses hold personally identifiable information (PII) and payment data that could be valuable to hackers. Unfortunately, these businesses are also the most vulnerable; a lack of adequate protection for their servers and devices, including firewalls and antimalware.

3. Failing to Use Effective Passwords

Most passwords employees use are next to useless. The repeated use of short, easy-to-guess passwords (dog’s name, anyone?) is easy to fix, and yet most businesses don’t insist on secure passwords.

4. Allowing Unnecessary Access to Data

Even when appropriate software is available to limit access, many businesses forget to use it. This includes allowing an employee to have access to data they shouldn’t, leaving private data accessible online, or failing to revoke access for former employees or contractors.

What Huntsville Businesses Can Do

Taking back control of data is simple (although not necessarily easy). Businesses must audit their data, establish clearly who should have access, and then set up controls to prevent access from individuals both inside and outside the business.

Putting this into effect will require:

  • Getting protected – encrypting devices, investing in antivirus and antimalware.
  • Improved training – employee training can prevent many simple, yet costly, mistakes.
  • Process improvements – put systems and processes into place so that future data is made secure.
  • Regular checks – ongoing audits to check the security of systems.

Integrated Solutions helps businesses in Huntsville and throughout Alabama to implement software, strategies, and processes that help protect them against the risk of a data breach.

Need help securing your data? Call (866) 907-1873 or click here for your Free Assessment.

Sources

https://www.herjavecgroup.com/the-2019-official-annual-cybercrime-report/

https://usa.kaspersky.com/resource-center/definitions/data-breach

https://www.itgovernance.co.uk/blog/five-simple-ways-businesses-can-avoid-a-data-breach

https://www.denverpost.com/2016/10/23/small-companies-cyber-attack-out-of-business/

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