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A Data Breach Guide for Small Businesses

Hacker stealing data from a laptopAlmost every business, from small local businesses to international companies, stores and your business could suffer negative publicity, a lawsuit, or even bankruptcy as a result. When a data breach occurs, take these steps to clean up the mess.

Find the problem. This may mean you have to call in technology specialists. Shut down the source of the problem, and trace to breach to discover what information may have been compromised.

Communicate with your customers. No one likes to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s better coming from you than from someone else. This will tell your customers that you are taking responsibility for the problem and that you care about them.

Increase security. Hire information technology experts to create better data security measures, so that this type of problem won’t happen again.

Address public relations concerns. When the news of the breach is released, you can expect backlash from the public. People can become very alarmed at the idea that you didn’t guard their personal information closely enough. The truth is, this type of attack can happen to anyone, but it will make many customers wary of doing business with you in the future. Make an effort to show that you care about your customers. For example, after the Target security breach, the company offered free credit monitoring to affected customers for the next year.

Consider data breach insurance. Obviously, it’s better to take this step before a data breach ever occurs! Most small and lawyers to manage an enormous class-action lawsuit. Since thieves are becoming increasingly that many smaller businesses lack the security measures to prevent hacking, they have begun targeting companies like yours. Data breach insurance is the best way to protect your customers along with your bottom line.