If you're in business, you better be in the data security business. Even if you don't transact all of your business online, and even if you don't even have a website, if you're processing payments electronically, that data could be at risk. Everything from customer information to proprietary technology can be valuable to hackers, making cybersecurity perhaps your most important investment.
Not sure where to get started? Here are five important cybersecurity questions, and where to go for answers.
Yep. Any business, no matter how small, can be a target, so long as you have something hackers want. That could be as simple as the credit card information of customers to internal development documents.
And if hackers are able to obtain identifying information of your customers and use that information for identity theft, your business could be liable. If your small business didn't have adequate cybersecurity measures in place to protect that information, you could be paying thousands or even millions in damages.
If you do detect a possible data breach, you may have a legal obligation to alert affected customers as soon as possible. Some states, like California, have notification statutes that require companies that have been hacked to notify customers notify customers "in the most expedient time possible and without unreasonable delay," and federal laws to the same effect may be coming soon.
Sometimes you need to entrust sensitive corporate information with others, especially with vendors. So do you need to ensure that they have the same, if not better, cybersecurity protocols in place in order to protect that information?
The Small Business Association is dedicating more funds to boost cybersecurity across all small businesses, and will be working in concert with the Department of Homeland Security to make it happen. See how that could improve cybersecurity at your company.