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Security Liability in the Age of Hacking: How a Company Can Protect Itself to Avoid Lawsuits

Whether you’re an SMB, or a large enterprise, it’s essential to protect your company’s data. Not only does a data breach threaten your company’s financial security, but it also attacks your viability — up to 60 percent of small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs) do not survive data calamities. What’s worse is that SMBs are a favorite target of hackers because of their high-reward, low-risk nature.

So, how do you protect your company data from hackers? Find out below.

The Cost of Getting Hacked

The expenses of a data breach are often devastating to SMBs. Typical costs of a security breach include notification and compensation. Notification costs — which include alerting affected parties and providing credit card monitoring — will vary, though credit monitoring comes with an annual fee of $10 to $200 per person. Compensation, such as through lawsuit settlements, range in price, as well. For many SMBs, however, the average cost of recovery is more than $35,000, though it can reach up to $50,000. Thus, it’s critical to learn how to protect your company’s data.

How to Protect Your Business from Hacking

To secure your company’s sensitive information and protect your customers, take the following 10 steps.

  1. Educate Your Team: Ensuring your staff understands company security protocols and how to spot security risks, such as phishing scams, is critical. To educate your staff, incorporate security training into your onboarding materials and host security seminars to keep your employees up-to-date on the latest threats.
  2. Secure Your Software: Outdated business software is often vulnerable, so ensure your programs are running the latest version. You can even set them to check for updates automatically.
  3. Mobilize Your Security: The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) movement is integral to SMBs. If your team uses their personal devices for work, mandate that they use a password or PIN code. To further prevent your business from hacking, take advantage of mobile device management services from a third party.
  4. Monitor Your Free Wi-Fi Usage: With employees working on-the-go and the BYOD movement, it’s critical that companies educate staff on how to use wi-fi networks, including free ones. To secure the data your team is accessing, use a virtual private network (VPN), which is a security layer that logs parties onto a secure network.
  5. Separate Your Cloud Data: A favorite tactic for how to protect your company data is data separation. Instead of compiling your files together in the cloud, store them by sensitivity. Boost your security even more by setting user permissions. You can also keep some data offline for additional protection.
  6. Verify Your Accounts: As hackers tend to access company accounts remotely, two-step verification is a go-to tactic for preventing someone from hacking into your business network. With two-step verification, anyone logging into your company email or bank account must enter a code, which your designated phone number receives.
  7. Upgrade Your Access Controls: Many businesses forget about updating their access controls, which is why it’s critical that your company does. Review your requirements for passwords and usernames, as well as your number of login attempts before locking an account. If staff members resign, it’s essential that you disable their accounts and update common passwords.
  8. Backup Your Data: If you store files on-premise, back them up on a routine basis. Depending on your setup, you can initiate backups automatically. If you partner with an IT service provider, such as Consolidated Technologies, Inc., our business continuity solution backs up your data every 15 minutes.
  9. Hide Your Admin Pages: An often overlooked tactic for how to prevent your business from hacking is hiding your admin pages from search engines. If search engines index your admin pages, they’ll appear in search results, which helps hackers infiltrate your website and its data. Hide your admin pages with the robots_txt file.
  10. Revise Your Business Continuity Plan: Today, more than 80 percent of SMBs are without a formal security plan. Whether your company maintains one or not, it’s essential to review and revise it. Use your expanded knowledge of data breaches, as well as evolved policies for managing data, to adapt your business continuity plan.

Start Your Free Security Consultation With Consolidated Technologies, Inc.

At Consolidated Technologies, Inc., we offer more than 20 years of experience. Over those decades, we’ve established ourselves as an award-winning provider of managed IT solutions to SMBs throughout New York and the tri-state area. Learn more how we can help protect your company’s data from hackers by contacting us today for a free security consultation!