If you run a small to medium business, chances are you're a bit overconfident about your company's ability to handle a data breach. According to a survey of small businesses conducted by the National Cyber Security Alliance, 77 percent of small to medium business owners say that their companies are "safe from cyber threats," and 66 percent say they're "not concerned with hackers [and] cyber-criminals." 

However, this confidence is usually misplaced. Despite the big-business data breaches that have been dominating the news lately, 71 percent of data breaches occur in a small business setting, caused either by hacking attacks or employees stealing information. 

The same survey found that small to medium business owners are woefully unprepared for the prospect of a breach. 87 percent of businesses surveyed didn't have any kind of formal security policy, and 59 percent had no incident response plan in case of a breach. 83 percent didn't require employees to change their passwords regularly, which is one of the most effective ways of preventing cyber attacks.

The business costs of a data breach are far-reaching and more complicated than simple financial losses. First of all, you'll likely be hit with fines after the breach, especially if customer payment cards are involved. However, the damage doesn't stop there. You'll also have to deal with the impact on your reputation, which can keep customers from getting involved with you in order to protect their personal information.

This is why, if you don't have a large IT department with employees specifically tasked with maintaining network security, it's a good idea to outsource your data security to a third-party company like Richmond Telecom. We are experts on telecommunications systems security and will work to be sure that your company's information is safe from criminals and hackers. 

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