Small businesses and cyber attacks: A growing risk.

Small businesses face a growing threat from cyber attacks. Various steps can be taken to help reduce the risk of attack and better protect your company.

Cyber attacks are not just the concern of large businesses. A growing number of small businesses are facing attacks that can lead to the loss of everything from client lists to valuable intellectual property. These businesses can take steps to protect themselves, and most professionals in the security and financial fields recommend a proactive approach.

These attacks are a real threat. Forbes reports that 71 percent of the data breaches in 2012 targeted businesses with less than 100 employees. The data, compiled by Verizon, reviewed 855 breaches that occurred in 2012. According to the communications mega giant, data currently being analyzed for 2013 indicates a similar trend. As a result, it appears attacks on small businesses will continue to pose a problem into the near future.

Proactive steps to help secure your small business

Various news outlets are reporting on the issue and providing advice for small businesses. Some of the more helpful tips include:

  • Be password savvy. Not only should businesses have strong passwords, but they should also have different passwords for various accounts and change these passwords frequently. A security expert interviewed by Forbes recommended using a different set of passwords for personal accounts and business accounts as well as looking into password managers to help store password information securely.
  • Backup data. It is important to back up data safely. Using the cloud is helpful, if a reputable source is used. Also consider having a backup drive or computer that is stored at a different location as an extra security measure.
  • Take payment carefully. If your business has a website with a feature for collecting payment, it may be best to outsource the method of payment processing. An article by Insurance Journal explains that vendors who specialize in taking payments have dedicated security staff that will help better ensure the security of the information provided by both your business and your clients.
  • Incorporation. The importance of incorporating a business cannot be overstated. The process transforms the business into a legal entity that exists separate from those who created it, protecting the owner from personal liability for debts incurred by the business.

These are just a few of the steps small businesses should take to protect themselves. Those who are in business also realize that cyber attacks are just one of the many concerns entrepreneurs face. As a result, business owners are wise to seek the counsel of an experienced business attorney to help better protect their interests.

Keywords: small business business law incorporation