Believe It Or Not, Small Businesses Are Most At Risk Of Data Breaches

Tuesday, September 29, 2015 11:45 am, Posted by Absolute Destruction

Click on the business or financial page of your favourite news site, and you’ll most likely read about the latest data breach to have threatened a multinational corporation’s confidential information. Most recently it’s been Target, CVS, and Walmart Canada in the headlines, and it’s probable that you’ll read about the security failings of similarly sized companies in the future. But that doesn’t mean data breaches aren’t happening to micro- and small businesses. In fact, small businesses are more likely to contend with data breaches than large organizations.

Small businesses make up the backbone of the Canada’s economy, comprising nearly 98% of all employer businesses in the country. That’s over 1.1 million small companies operating in Canada. In the City of Toronto, that accounts for nearly 67,000 businesses – a number that only climbs when you include the surrounding GTA. Since so many of our clients own or are employed by small businesses, it’s imperative that we arm you with the facts.

Large enterprises seem like they would be enticing to data thieves, and trust us, they are. Their gross profits, client lists, and intellectual properties far outweigh that of a small business. When a small business, by definition, only employs 5-100 people, many small business owners assume that they have nothing worth stealing – especially when they just employ 7 people – and therefore neglect to invest enough in security. But that’s where they’re wrong. Small businesses are the optimal target for data thieves. Without the security measures that a large corporation employs, small businesses still have considerably more wealth and confidential material than the average individual. Towing the line between big business and a person, small businesses are the happy medium that thieves are looking for.

We urge that small business owners consider the systems they have in place to protect against a breach. As more and more business occurs online, cyber security is of utmost value to a smaller company. Ensure that effective malware is installed to protect against indiscriminate attacks, the sole purpose of which is just to collect as much information as possible. If client information is exposed this way, a small business is upheld by the laws outlined in PIPEDA and can incur monetary penalties – a fine that no small business should have to contend with. Investing in data encryption and 2-step authentication in order to access any of your devices are also significant methods of preventing data breaches by ensuring only those on your (limited) employee list can access your information in the first place. Destroying old hardware, including out-dated computers, laptops, memory cards, and any other device used to store information, should be incorporated into your security systems. The alternative, allowing an old laptop or external hard drive to find their way in a garbage bin and into another’s hands, can compromise your entire business.

While you develop internal systems and protocol that will ensure your small business has an appropriate defence against theft, leave it to us to ensure your documents and digital data are properly taken care of. Just as we help micro-, medium, and large businesses with their physical and digital document destruction, our mobile shredding experts can ensure your small business is protected from unnecessary data breaches. We provide secure containers to store your material until our shredding professionals arrive at your door. Under your watchful eye, they’ll completely destroy all of your physical and digital records until we, as a company, can guarantee its absolute destruction. You’ll know the process is done once you receive our “Certificate of Destruction”.

The numbers aren’t on the side of a small business, but that’s only because of ineffectual (or non-existent) security measures. Once you invest in proper policy and protocol, including our commercial shredding services, you won’t have to worry about being a target of the next data breach. Let the big names in business take that.

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