5 Proven Data Privacy Lessons For Small Businesses

Last Updated: 

April 10, 2023

As data breaches and privacy violations make headlines, small businesses need to take privacy more seriously. According to a recent study, 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses. The worst part is that the average cost of a breach for a small business is over $200,000.

Furthermore, with data privacy regulations becoming increasingly strict, companies that fail to prioritise the risk face legal consequences and reputational damage. Are you prepared for the worst? Have you done enough to ensure privacy for your small business?

Fortunately, small businesses can rely on some proven lessons to protect themselves and their customers' data. The best thing is that you can implement them without breaking the bank. Here are the ones that every entrepreneur should learn:

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Lesson #1- Implement security technologies

Although small businesses run on tight budgets, they should not skimp on security technologies. Implement the essentials, such as antivirus software, firewalls, and encryption to protect confidential data.

Encryption is specifically critical as it ensures that sensitive information is only accessible to authorised parties. In fact, it saves the stolen files as hackers can't crack the code. By implementing these technologies, you can significantly lower the risk of a breach.

Lesson #2- Prioritise employee training

Employees often act as the first line of defence against breaches and privacy violations. Ensuring they are well-trained to handle sensitive data securely is the best way to protect your small business.

Training entails generating awareness of best practices for data privacy. For example, they must know the importance of strong passwords, how to spot phishing emails, and dispose of confidential information.

Lesson #3- Make security a part of data governance

Every employee in your company should have access to the data they require for their job. But when implementing Data Democracy in your organisation, go the extra mile with governance best practices.

Not everyone in an organisation requires all the information, so define user roles carefully and authorise access accordingly. The idea is to prevent data from going into the wrong hands.

Lesson #4- Regularly update software and systems

Another lesser small businesses must learn is to keep software and systems up to date at all times. Updates can prevent security vulnerabilities. Commit to installing updates and patches as soon as they become available.

It includes updates to operating systems, software applications, and browsers. Automating updates is an even better option, as you need not stress about missing them.

Lesson #5- Comply with privacy regulations

Privacy regulations such as the GDPR and the CCPA exist because of good reasons. They specify how organisations should collect, store, and use customer data. Every small business must comply with them because non-compliance can lead to hefty penalties and other legal consequences.

Both can have dire consequences for entrepreneurs already struggling with financial constraints.

Data privacy is a critical aspect of running a business, regardless of size and scale. Experts recommend staying ahead of mistakes instead of correcting them down the line. By implementing these key privacy lessons, small businesses can protect themselves from the risks of data breaches and privacy violations. 

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