Better Business Bureau and partners Symantec Corporation, Visa Inc., Kroll’s Fraud Solutions and NACHA – The Electronic Payments Association today launched a new national education initiative to help small business owners overcome any previous reluctance to taking the necessary steps to protect their sensitive customer and business data, so they won’t become the next victim of a data breach.
Data security threats affecting small businesses are both external and internal, but many owners fail to recognize the potential for a breach or take the necessary protection steps until it’s too late. The numbers:
- 33 percent of small businesses lack even simple antivirus protection. Source: Symantec Corporation, 2009
- 85 percent of data breaches occur at the small business level. Source: Visa Inc. September 2009
- 78 percent of consumers said they’d stop shopping at a store if they believed the store had experienced a card data compromise. Source: National survey of cardholders, Visa Inc., February 2009
“While data breaches affect businesses of all sizes, many small business owners aren’t taking the necessary steps to create ongoing data security policies and practices, including training their employees,” said Steve Cox, President and CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. “Many small business owners recognize the importance of data security but don’t understand how vulnerable they really are, may feel intimidated by the issue or think that they lack the resources to implement a sound strategy. As a result, data thieves often target small business owners, stealing both the sensitive financial information of the business and its customers.”
BBB’s Data Security—Made Simpler provides small and medium business owners with the guidelines and right-size resources they need to build a data security plan and put it into action right away. BBB’s Data Security—Made Simpler includes turn-key guidance to help small business owners:
- Identify their data loss vulnerability points – electronic and paper-based
- Develop a data security policy that both protects sensitive data, ensures its availability and restricts access
- Identify and deploy the right kind of tools to protect sensitive data, based on their type of business
- Communicate their data protection policies to customers as a strategy to strengthen the business – customer trust relationship and differentiate their company from their competitors
- Know what to do if they believe they’ve been a victim of a data compromise
In addition to providing free and easy-to-understand guidance through www.bbb.org/data-security/, the network of community-based BBBs across North America – as well as partners Visa Inc., Symantec Corporation and Kroll’s Fraud Solutions – will reach out to small businesses to encourage an increased focus on data security.
Data Security—Made Simpler was created by BBB in collaboration with two nationally-recognized data security experts, Dana Rosenfeld and David Zetoony. Dana Rosenfeld, formally an assistant director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, is an attorney with Kelley Drye & Warren LLP. David Zetoony is an attorney with Bryan Cave LLP and has counseled dozens of companies on how to respond to data security breaches
For more information or to schedule an interview with a BBB spokesperson on online and offline practices small business owners can do to protect their data, contact Alison Southwick at 703-247-9376.