Data protection can be a hassle, and many small business owners consider it an unnecessary expense. Unfortunately, the statistics are pretty clear, and they don’t agree with the sentiment that small businesses are safe from data security issues. In fact, the opposite is true. Small businesses often don’t have the time or money to invest in data protection services, making them easy targets for thieves, hackers, and malware. Laptops and other mobile devices with sensitive data may be stolen, and sometimes a business’ own employees may either inadvertently or intentionally reveal sensitive data. Natural and man-made disasters can also significantly compromise the security of small businesses.

According to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse’s 2010 Chronology of Data Breaches report, over a half-billion data breaches have occurred since 2005. Compromised data included customers’ social security numbers, credit card numbers, and other highly sensitive information, and the majority of the businesses where these breaches occurred were small to medium-sized. Unlike larger businesses and corporations, small businesses can’t bounce back as quickly from significant data breaches, and many never do. Data protection is therefore crucial to the success of your business.

Back-up is a vital step in data protection– you can recover faster if you know what is missing or what was compromised in the first place. Many back-up options exist, including SAN, clouds, and in-house or off-site tape. The BBB also developed a toolkit to assist small business owners in developing effective data protection strategies. Running employee background checks, shredding and carefully disposing of sensitive paper documents, and placing servers and other computing resources in locked or restricted areas are essential security measures. Other important strides to take include keeping anti-virus software up to date, vetting the privacy practices of your business partners, keeping your files locked, keeping irreplaceable original documents in a locked fire safe, using SSL or similar encryption services for your financial data, making sure passwords are strong and changing them frequently, and using  a good firewall.

Data protection can be an overwhelming process. Even when you’ve been doing your best to keep up with the latest security measures, running a business can be exhausting and you can fall behind in data security. That’s where IT professionals come in handy. Tor Technologies’ team of experts can help keep your data safe and simplify the process so that effective data protection becomes a natural habit. If you need help, ask us.