Unfortunately, the general consensus is that if a hacker targets your company, little can be done to stop it from happening. But does that mean you should roll over and let cyber criminals take whatever they want from your stored data?

Let’s first consider some facts that show it is really tough to stop a data breach, and then reveal some things your organization can do to be conscientious with private data you may be storing digitally.

Why Some Forecasters Say Things Look Bleak

Over 20 percent of government enterprises and large businesses experience a data breach each year, and more than 60 percent have suffered a breach at some time in the past. When the big companies and governments can’t keep hackers out, what chance does a small- to medium-sized business (SMB) stand?

Here are a few things to do in order to dissuade hackers:

Don’t Be an Easy Target for a Data Breach

Many hackers are opportunists, especially those who go after SMBs for a score. Knowing this means you can discourage an attack on your company by having your defenses up. The best practices include:

  • Increase budget for digital security – Whether it means outsourcing your security or purchasing a new software package, you are going to need a budget to spend on protecting data. Think of it as an investment in your company’s reputation, should a data breach occur. Every company wants to be able to say, “We did everything we could.”
  • Encryption – Minimize the chance of a hacker being able to use what he gets from a data breach by keeping everything encrypted, even emails.
  • Two-step authentication, or more if necessary – Requiring only a password for authentication means that your whole organization is only as safe as the weakest password someone uses. Plus, it takes only one user with phishing malware on his computer to make his login credentials available to a hacker.

The fact is that if a hacker wants to get into your files bad enough, a data breach probably is going to happen. But think of it this way – a dedicated thief could probably break into any house if he wanted to, but he is more likely to go after a home with no alarm system and an unlocked door.

Make sure your business isn’t an easy score.