Insurance and Security

Guarding against a data breach

Data security breaches can happen to anyone, so it's important you know how to protect yourself. Read on for tips on how you can guard your business against a data breach.

Published: October 09, 2012
Updated: April 11, 2017

When you think of data security breaches and hackers, you probably recall recent news stories about large companies that have been impacted. However, data breaches also occur in small businesses and probably more often than you think. According to statistics from the National Cyber Security Alliance, more than 70 percent of data breaches target small businesses.1

Here are a few measures you can take to ensure your business doesn’t fall victim to a breach:

  • Install security software. Find programs which protect your network, servers and online applications from intrusion. Make sure they scan downloads for malware (software that hackers use to obtain sensitive data) and viruses, as well.

  • Educate employees. Most people aren't naturally tech savvy, so it's important to train your employees on the basics of data security — from creating complex passwords to using caution when destroying information. Also, instruct them to only open email attachments from trusted, credible sources.

  • Secure your wireless network. Switch out the default password on your wireless router with a new one, and change the settings so you're not broadcasting your wireless name to the world. These small tasks are easy to accomplish and may save you a lot of trouble in the future.

  • Restrict access. Only give access to those employees who need it, such as your IT advisor or accountant. If you give access to everybody, you're increasing the possibility for hackers to obtain information. The less your employees have access to sensitive data, the better your chances are for avoiding a breach.

  • Upgrade your website security. Without the proper security, your business website may be a goldmine for hackers. Online databases, special scripts, forms — hackers can break into all of these components if they're not properly programmed and secured. Consider hiring a qualified security company to inspect your website's code for vulnerabilities and leaks and run penetration tests. 

  • Prepare for anything. Prepare for the adverse scenarios by frequently backing up your data. If your office is destroyed due to a disaster or fire, backups ensure that your customer and employee records and contracts are preserved, so you can get back to business as quickly as possible.  

As a small business owner, you've worked tirelessly to build your business from the ground up. By taking proper security measures, you can further safeguard your information from hackers and ensure that your hard work and perseverance are not jeopardized.

Creating a Cyber Security Culture in Your Business. Paychex.