Owning a small business is a challenge, but it is the dream of millions of people across the globe. The thrill of becoming your own boss, controlling one’s time and the potential for unlimited income are attractive results for many people. Being an entrepreneur myself I understand the unique challenges that we face upon the journey, quite a bit of what we learn is on the job, formal education helps, but it is experience that will teach you the most over time. When we plan our business we consider a lot of things, loans, self-financing, marketing, location, website, logo and much more. We consider our product quality, variety, placement of product, potential employees and potential revenue, but there are a few things that small business owners neglect to consider, and this article will discuss these things.
IT Security and Compliance has too often been on the peripheral vision and landscape of small business, so the impact of not properly security websites could be ignored. Ignoring these things could have a huge impact on your business, financially and could destroy and otherwise well-meaning business. Many small business owners do not even understand their obligations to security and protecting customers or the consequences of not doing so. The security aspect is a must for every single small business and so is compliance, but the level at which one is responsible depends on the type of business that you are in. Long gone are the days of so called “security through obscurity”, you cannot assume that hackers will not target you simply because you are not a large business. Small businesses have customers and customer information is extremely valuable as a commodity to hackers and companies seeking to spam your customers. Studies by Symantec estimate that over 36% of attacks were targeted towards small businesses and over 80% of small businesses don’t have a Cyber Security plan. Malicious hackers, much like burglars and car thieves tend to seek out easy targets rather than hard targets. The risk of ignoring security and compliance for small businesses is heavy, let’s look at a few:
- Loss of customer trust can lead to loss of customers therefore decreasing revenues. According to Cyber Crime Magazine, it is estimated that 60% of small businesses shut down within 6 months of a data breach.
- Potential fines by the local government, FTC and other federal governments. Fines for violating these laws that require taking the proper security managers can be anywhere up to $250,000. Much larger fines have been issued dependent upon how egregious and large the breach is.
- You put customers at risk, along with placing yourself, your identity and your families’ information at risk.
Now that you understand the risk, it is time to think about what it means to fix the problem. The first step is to make it priority to know what laws you should be following. It is better to find experts within this field to assist you through the entire process. Experts in IT Security and Compliance can not only, consult, but can also help you implement the right programs and the right technology to protect your customers and your business. This isn’t something that you should go at alone, the reward for protecting your customers is better technology, better safety, more consumer trust and by indirect quality increase, you typically see increased revenue. For more information reach out to Andre Spivey, CEO and Principal Security Consultant at SecNetX, email@example.com or www.secnethosting.com