According to a study done in 2005, close to a half a billion sensitive records have been accessed and tampered with. Among these records are very sensitive social security and credit card data. About 20% of the breaches came from merchants, retailers, and other non-financial businesses ranging from small to midsize.

Small businesses in particular are vulnerable to security breaches and close to 80% of them go out of business or become bankrupt with 2 years following a security breach. It is therefore important for a business to first understand the causes of security breaches and then put in mechanisms to safeguard themselves. Below are some of the common causes of these breaches.

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Unintended Disclosure

When someone either from your company such as an employee or an affiliated party inadvertently posts sensitive or private information about your company on a website, social media channel, or slots it somewhere in an email, it can lead to a security breach.

Malware or Hacking

Having inadequate firewalls or slightly weak passwords can lead to unauthorised individuals gaining access to your servers or computers. Such a malicious entry can easily result into corruption or theft of data.

Payment Card Fraud

Information can also be stolen at a payment terminal or point of service. This is why credit card information should be safeguarded and the payment terminals they are used on, safeguarded.

Other causes of breach include stolen computers, stolen paper documents, discarded, lost or stolen mobile devices, and malicious employees.

Protecting Yourself against Security Threats

Lots of people think that business protection from a security breach is all about safe technology. On the contrary, it has everything to do about hiring the right set of people, putting in place a good security policy, and largely logical reasoning. Below are some of the steps you can take to maintain the confidentiality and safety of data.

Identify the Sensitive Information in Your Business

This is the beginning step in securing your information. Take stock of the potentially sensitive information in your company, where it resides, and what exactly you use it for. You should also document the computers, laptops, and servers that convey the information.

Isolate and Encrypt the Data

Companies advise their clients to ensure that sensitive information is kept on as few computers or servers as possible. This data should ideally be segregated from the rest if possible. The fewer the copies of data you possess, the easier it is to protect them. If the data you have is mobile, encryption becomes a commendable idea. Companies like Dell offer multiple options to encrypt your data some of which are through databases, applications, and through security suites that run on laptops.

Secure Your Data Transmission through SSL

Secure sockets layer give you a protected connection for both transmission and reception of sensitive information such as credit card data. This is one of the best ways of securing encrypted data while it is transiting over the internet.

It’s also important that you conduct background checks for your employees particularly the new ones and request that they have at least 2 references. This is important for verification processes.