What safeguards does your small business have in place to protect against data breaches? Data breaches can strike all types of businesses, regardless of their size or industry. While damage varies depending on a variety of factors, data breaches are almost always costly. So, what’s the true cost of a data breach for small businesses?

Lower Productivity

If your small business suffers a data breach, you may find yourself spending more time trying to clean up the breach, resulting in a lower level of productivity. When a data breach occurs, you must act fast to assess the damage and notify the affected parties. Whether a dozen people were affected or 10,000, you must notify them of the incidence. As a result, a data breach can lower your productivity.

IT Downtime

In many cases, a data breach can force a small business to take its information technology (IT) infrastructure online. If the breach as related to a cyber attack, such as a database intrusion, a small business may take down his or her business’s IT infrastructure to find and fix the exploit.

Of course, IT downtime itself can be costly. According to a study conducted by Gartner, outages cost businesses an average of $5,600 per minute. Based on these figures, a 60-minute outage could cost your small business over $330,000 — and that’s just one of several costs associated with data breaches. Your small business will likely encounter other costs, each of which adds to the total damage caused by a data breach.

Credit Monitoring Services

You may need to provide the affected parties with credit monitoring services. There are laws in the United States requiring businesses to provide their customers or clients with free credit monitoring services if their data is used or accessed by an unauthorized individual or entity.

If your small business experiences a small data breach, purchasing credit monitoring services for the affected parties shouldn’t be too expensive. For large data breaches involving thousands of people, though, the cost of credit monitoring services can quickly add up.

Replacement Credit and Debit Cards

Some banks require businesses to pay for the replacement of credit and debit cards. If your small business’s database was breached and a hacker was able to access your customers’ credit card numbers, for example, you might have to purchase replacement cards for the affected customers.

Nearly $4 Million

The Ponemon Institute says that businesses, on average, spend $3.86 million to recover from a data breach. As a small business owner, you should implement the necessary safeguards to protect against data breach. Otherwise, you could be facing similar costs when attempting to recover from a data breach.

#databreach #truecosts #sideeffects