Why is data security important for small businesses?

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

By Sheryl Wright

Technological advancements have made it a necessity for any business to have an online presence. The online presence brings about the visibility of the business and boosts customer experience. However, the increase in online presence for companies has also brought about the risk of data breaches. Although data breaches in the United States have been decreasing over the years, according to the Statista website, this does not water down the need to invest in data security.

Data security refers to measures put in place by a company to keep out unauthorized access to the business’s database, the business’s websites, and computers. Data security serves to protect the business’s data from loss or corruption.

Any business, no matter how small, may be targeted by hackers. In most cases, businesses that assume that they cannot be targets are mainly the targets of choice for hackers. Such businesses rarely invest in a cyber risk management platform. As a business, it is essential to note that the business’s assets also include its data.

Which data needs protection?

Your business may store various kinds of data for different reasons. All data that your business collects from its daily dealings with customers is essential and should be protected from unauthorized access. Data such as employee records, transactions, customer details, customer preferences, and loyalty schemes should be protected from misuse by third parties that may use the data for fraud involving data phishing or identity theft.

Why protect data?

– Compliance with the law

All states and countries have data protection acts containing principles that governments, organizations, and businesses must adhere to keep data accurate, lawful, safe, and secure.

The principles ensure that data is:

– Strictly used in specifically specified ways

– Stored only for the required amount of time

– Used strictly for relevant purposes as stated during data collection

– Well protected

– Used strictly as the law entails

– Not transferred outside the region the data was collected

To avoid unwarranted expenditure

Your business is held accountable for any data loss, including financial details, employee information, and personal customer or client information. Though ignorance is no defense, some businesses are usually ignorant about the dangers posed by vulnerabilities in their data security software or lack thereof, leading to data loss.

The losses incurred from poor data security are of monetary value, and the business may suffer a lack of customer trust and reliability. Such losses impact your business growth and sustainability.

To protect your business’s reputation

Your business’s reputation, built over many years, can be destroyed in seconds due to a data breach. Your customers place enormous levels of trust in your business by simple acts such as paying for goods online using credit cards.

While no business would intentionally leak customer data, failure to invest in proper data protection software is equitable to planning a data breach. Hackers may be able to automate the cyber-attack onslaughts to your business without having to lift a finger. As they are referred to, Bot attacks rely on a moment of weakness to penetrate through your firewall and steal critical data.

Hackers also can decide to divert your security’s attention on a wild goose chase to breach your data. All these reasons try to emphasize the enormous magnitude of your data security providers.

To ensure data integrity

Data integrity points to the accuracy and reliability of the data. Accurate and reliable data is complete and has no variations or compromises when compared with the original data.

To ensure that data is authentic and accurate, you may try data storage consolidation, which is achieved by centralizing data storage and then placing the information on different servers to secure data backups.

How to protect data?

You must invest in a platform that manages your business’s cyber risk. Such companies can offer your business personalized data security guidance and give your business insights for prioritizing investments. Certain practices help protect your data, including:

Training employees on cybersecurity basics

Employees should be discouraged from opening emails or storing files from suspicious emails or websites. Staff should also be taught how to set strong passwords avoiding names, birthdays, street addresses, or any other personal information.

Regular staff reminders on how to deal with sensitive data

Sensitive data should be stored in authenticated cloud services and should not be shared with third parties.

Encourage use of legitimate software

Always download software or buy software from trusted sources. Pirated or illegitimate software may be an avenue to let hackers into the business’s data.

In conclusion, data security is vital for any business venture, big or small, not only because it is a requirement by law but also because the business survival depends on secure data.


Sheryl Wright is a freelance writer who specializes in digital marketing, inclusive business, and interior design. If she is not at home reading, she is at a farmer’s market or climbing in the Rockies. She currently lives in Nashville, TN, with her cat, Saturn.

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