Imagine this: During your company’s busiest time of year, you discover that your database has been hacked and thousands of your customers’ personal information has been stolen. This scenario isn’t just the nightmare of retailers like Target; it could happen to any business – large or small. In fact, Verizon reports that 40 percent of data breaches in 2012 happened to small businesses with fewer than 100 employees.
If this happened to your business, would you be able to recover? Would potential new customers ever trust you? Would current customers want to return? The time to prepare a response plan – and avoid the public relations debacle that could hurt or even ruin your business – is now, before disaster happens.
Even though you’re a small business, without the financial resources to mitigate a data breach that a company like Target might have, there are some simple things you can do now to be prepared, just in case. A good place to start is BBB’s toolkit, “Data Security Made Simpler”. It’s an easy-to-read tutorial on how to protect your business from a data breach, what to do if your customers’ data is compromised, information for companies who do business abroad, and much more. It includes helpful checklists and a treasure trove of valuable resources.
Yes, it might take some time to go through all of the material. It would be a great project for you to complete after the busy season when you have some down time. Hopefully, you’ll never need a data breach response plan. But if you do, you’ll be glad you have one. It could save your business.
Written By: Susan Bach, NE Regional Director at BBB Serving Wisconsin