Compromised data allows criminals to impersonate individuals, steal money, and access financial accounts, among other nefarious deeds. With the rise in technology (e.g., online shopping and digital document storage), cybercrimes like data breaches are becoming more prevalent.
However, many businesses, especially small businesses, adopt a “that will never happen to me” attitude. While no one wants to be a data breach victim, it’s essential to note that big and small businesses alike can be cybercrime targets.
So, what is a data breach?
Essentially, a data breach is a cybercrime whereby an organization’s security has been compromised, causing data to be obtained without authorization. Unlike dumpster diving, technology plays an instrumental role in targeting sensitive information.
Types of data breaches include but are not limited to:
– Stolen information
– Malware or Virus
– Recording keystrokes
All of which can lead to extortion, fraud, or identity theft.
How does a data breach enable identity theft?
When a business’ data has been breached, customer and employee information like names, birthdates, social insurance numbers, addresses, financial records, and any other crucial insights are in the hands of the hacker. All of which puts your customers’ and employees’ identities at risk.
How does it affect your business?
It’s no surprise that a data breach can negatively affect your business. These adverse effects can come in a multitude of ways, like financially. However, one of the most impactful effects is your business’ reputation. Losing the trust of your consumer is devasting. A business’s consumer loyalty is earned through years of hard work and lost in a moment of poor security.
To avoid a data breach, be sure to do the following:
- Shred all papers that contain sensitive information.
- Use complex passwords.
- Set up two-factor verification where available.
- Be wary of opening unfamiliar links or attachments.
- Do not share sensitive information through unsecured or public networks.
Protecting your business’ data with proper security and protocols is imperative to the life of your business and the individuals that make your business thrive.