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Running a business means constantly collecting customer data, like identity and behavioral information, and using it to personalize user experiences and complete orders. Without it, a company would struggle to function and fulfill contracts. That’s why data breaches that corrupt or steal these statistics are among the biggest threats to business owners.

What Are Data Breaches?

Data breaches are security incidents where data leaks release information to unauthorized third parties. From simple employee errors due to neglect to cyber attacks like phishing and malware, sensitive and confidential information about a company and its customers gets out. But what does that mean for your small company?

Are Breaches More Dangerous For Small Companies?

Many believe cyber crimes target larger companies since they have more funds and data that hackers can exploit or hold for ransom. However, the Verizon State of Small Business Survey from January 2024 claims that 51% of small businesses don’t have data security, whether in the form of training, tools, or cyberattack experience. So, they’re easier targets than larger, more protected ones.

Below are some examples of how data breaches affect small companies.

Losing Funds to Fix the Issue

According to Fox Business, it costs between $10,000 to $100,000 for forensics experts to uncover and identify the breach alone. Not only are more established businesses better equipped to handle these costs, but smaller businesses are also less prepared to handle what comes next, which is breach response.

With fewer departments, the latter may have to outsource consultants, attorneys, and crisis management (among others) to deal with and abolish the threat properly. With all these fees, it can be hard for a small company to stay afloat. Cybercrime Magazine claims 60% of these businesses shut down during the six months following an attack, proving they can jeopardize your company’s longevity.

Increasing Customer Turnover and Loss of Revenue

With data breaches involving each customer’s personal information leaking, such as their age, name, and even bank account and credit card numbers, it’s understandable they’ll be upset to learn about the incident. Therefore, after notifying them about the threat, it’s imperative to set up a call center where they can voice their concerns and complaints and learn more about the next steps.

Business owners can also provide free credit monitoring and other services as damage control, but it’s still likely that many long-time and loyal customers will leave for one of the business’ competitors. This increases customer turnover and loss of revenue, proving the indirect effects and costs of breaches.

Diminishing Your Reputation With Customers and Employees Alike

A customer’s personally identifiable information (PII) isn’t the only data that leaks during these attacks since employees may also feel threatened. That means losing employees and job applicants is just as common as losing customers due to a diminished reputation.

A credit rating downgrade may also follow, leading to:

  • Negative media coverage
  • Higher interest rates from investors
  • A lower ability to secure financing

Since nothing good comes from data breaches, take precautions for your small business by implementing the appropriate cybersecurity measures today!

Used with permission from Article Aggregator