If you were under the impression that data breaches only affect large corporations, you might want to take a closer look. According to the Verizon 2013 Data Breach Investigations Report, 62 percent of breaches impacted small businesses, yet the majority of small business owners were unaware of the risks and threats. A survey by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and Symantec revealed that 77 percent of small business owners believe their business is safe from cyberattacks (hackers, virus’s malware, etc.). Shockingly, 83 percent shared that they have no formal cybersecurity plan in place.

Why are Small Business a Target for Cyberattacks?

Just like large corporations, small businesses collect and store sensitive credit card data from their customers. A problem arises when security is not high on the priority list, which is often the case with a smaller business; thus, leaving the company very vulnerable to data breaches. Another reason they become a target is because many have yet to adopt and update their equipment to secure chip card readers (EMV-enabled reader). This particularly makes the business more likely to fall victim to criminal activity.

The Staggering Cost of Data Breaches

A study by PwC revealed that cyberattacks can cost small businesses anywhere from $60,000 to $170,000 per incident. The costs of cybercrime not only affect your business’ bottom line, but they also have the potential to lead to being sued by customers for failing to provide adequate security procedures. In addition to legal fees, money will also have to be spent on researching how the breach occurred and the extent of the damage. Your merchant provider will also likely increase its fees or even impose fines.

Tips on How to Protect Your Small Business

  • You can outsource your IT functions to IT professionals you trust to help protect your business against cyberattacks.
  • If you haven’t already, fortify your business’ finances and customer’s information by adopting and updating your equipment for EMV technology.
  • Make sure you frequently and diligently monitor your systems so you can quickly address any inconsistencies when they arise.
  • Educate your employees on how they can safeguard their data and the data of your customers.
  • Draft a privacy policy and establish strong protocols concerning your company’s obligations when it comes to data and how data should be collected and stored.

Are you having trouble finding a payment processing provider willing to work with a small business? Many traditional processors are unwilling to work with startups, small businesses and other high-risk business types. Or are you simply seeking more information on how to keep your business data safe? If you are seeking support and safe payment processing solutions, consider First Data review via Bestpaymentproviders for more information.

Author Bio: Electronic payments expert Taylor Cole is a passionate entrepreneur who enjoys to write, produce music, and travel. Bestpaymentproviders is the UK’s best First Data review company, serving both traditional and high-risk merchants.