Owners of small business have a lot on their plates, and they’re often juggling all the aspects of running a business with far fewer resources than larger operations. While they may be operating on a smaller scale, they face many of the same challenges of large businesses – including data security.

Businesses of all sizes need to have data security on their radar, but because small businesses (SMBs) are less likely to have a dedicated IT team and more likely to be unfamiliar with all the threats that their data faces every day, they easily become vulnerable to cyber attacks and other types of data breaches.

If you’re a small business who is just beginning to understand the depth and importance of data security, here is a quick guide to the most important points to help better protect your data and keep your business secure.

Small Businesses Are at a Greater Risk of Cyber Attacks

There’s a misconception that because a business is small, a cyber criminal wants nothing to do with them or their data. The problem with this line of thinking is that cyber criminals also realize that SMBs are less likely to have taken measures to optimally secure their data, meaning that it’s exponentially easier to break in and get access.

It’s estimated that 43% of cyber-attacks  are against small businesses – a number that has grown dramatically over the last decade. SMBs need a plan of action for cyber security in place to protect both their customers and the integrity of their business.

Loss of Data Costs More Than Data Protection

SMBs frequently start out with limited budgets and are put in the position of deciding where to best spend that money to grow their business. It’s easy to look at something like data security and think that with the right software and a knowledgeable team member that it’s something that can easily be managed in house.

Here’s the thing. Exposure of data almost always costs more than what you would invest in network security over the lifetime of your business. Not only are there expenses in data recovery, there are also costs to your business. For instance, SMBs often lose customers once word gets out about the breach. In fact, the cost of lost data is so significant that 60% of SMBs go out of business within 6 months of a cyber-attack.

Changing Business Practices Demand Higher Security

More small businesses are either run remotely or offer some of their employees the opportunity to work from home at least part of the time. There’s also a growing trend of employees using their own devices for business purposes. This is all great from a convenience standpoint, not to mention what’s gained in reduced overhead costs and the perk in employee satisfaction.

This trend does have a dark side, and that is that remote employees that use their own devices can cause your data to become more vulnerable. If you have remote team members, it’s critically important to invest in IT security that protects your data no matter where it’s being accessed.

Taking steps to protect your SMB’s data is one of the most important things you can do. Managed IT services offer the long term solutions you need. Reach out to Proactive IT and let one of our IT consulting professionals show you how and why data security is important for your small business.