My college buddy and I were recent business graduates and having difficulty getting our careers in gear. Therefore, we decided to start a small accounting firm that consisted of two members. In the beginning, we primarily worked with tax preparation for small businesses and other tax work. It was slow going in the beginning and we knew that the majority of small business owners fail in the first year. Still, we kept working diligently and marketing our business to other small business owners in the local community and online. We quickly discovered that an online presence helped to really promote the business in the community. Several organizations contacted us for work and word of mouth helped to drive our business to success.
Smith and Company soon hired several new employees. We were really putting our company out there, really marketing to the community and it was paying off. We were the type of company that always went the extra mile. We were the type of business that worked very diligently to make sure that the client was completely satisfied. We wanted clients to be happy with our service because our honor depended on it, along with making profits and staying afloat in this highly competitive business. We were constantly pitching to our targeted audience and became an integral part of the local small business community.
Reaching Our Goals
We were a company that believed in setting short-range goals and long-term goals. Our short-term goals were to grow our business and double the revenue. Our long-term goals were to expand the business to other areas. For example, working with larger corporations or expanding beyond basic accounting and bookkeeping services. We were really making progress and reaching our goals smoothly with very few problems during those first years. New business clients were rolling in daily, and we were exceeding our quotas. Admittedly, we were on top of the world and thought we were totally in control of our future until the first data breach occurred. The fact is that we never thought about data breaches or managed security.
At this point, it’s kind of frightening to think that our small operation did not even consider the idea that a data breach might occur to our small business. After all, most hackers targeted the large corporations or the Fortune 500 companies. Certainly, those were the companies that were at really high risk. Of course, running a small accounting firm is a challenge and we also protected our client’s personal data. However, we simply did not realize how easy it was for the bad guys to get into our files and steal information. We soon discovered that professional hackers like to target the small business owner because they are more vulnerable and do not have high-end security like most large corporations.
Data Breach Risks To The Small Business
Data breaches are on the rise. Statistics show that small business owners are targeted more often than you might think. Hackers discovered that the small business is more vulnerable to attack because the companies simply do not think that hackers would target a small firm, thus leaving the firm very open to attack. In addition, many small companies like ours do not have software or other tools in place to protect their files. Surprisingly, quite a few small business employees do not realize they’ve even been hacked. Here is the deal. A large corporation might be able to weather a data breach; however, even a small data breach might ruin a small business like ours.
How To Prevent Data Breach In A Small Business
Of course, the first step is to make the employees aware of the possibility of a data breach occurring and ways to recognize that one has occurred. Generally, this requires special employee training that is provided by an IT professional or a cyber-security expert. After the data breach that hit our small business, I would suggest that every business owner take the proper precautions to protect their data by bringing in a specialist to protect sensitive data on their network.
The fact is that even a small breach could destroy a company’s credibility and ruin their business. Certainly, managed security is a growing necessity in this day and age, even for the small business owner.