How Florida Businesses Can Protect Against Data Breaches

Data breaches are on the rise and there seems to be no end to their devastation. In addition to the consequences of leaked data, data breaches are costly. Companies are regularly fined thousands – and even millions – of dollars for violating data privacy regulations like GDPR, among others.

Healthcare is the most common industry for data breaches. Recently, the Jackson County Hospital district detected a security incident that prevented staff from accessing parts of their network. While they were locked out of their network, someone stole data that included protected, sensitive information.

Although medical organizations get hit more frequently, anyone can be a target. With data breaches being a potential for any business, Florida business owners need to take extra precautions. 

Protect Against Data Breaches

Here’s what you can do to prevent costly damages from these incidents.

  1. Respond properly to all security incidents

 While data breaches are costly on their own, not properly responding to security incidents can also be costly. Organizations are routinely fined for being out of compliance or covering up security incidents.

 Properly responding to a GDPR data breach is essential. For example, you only have 72 hours to report an incident after it’s discovered, and you must report it in specific ways. Your report must document the details and consequences of the breach in addition to how you plan to address the breach. You’ll also need to contact the affected individuals to inform them of the breach.

As part of the regulations, once a breach is reported, you’re required to fix it under GDPR. Naturally, once the issue has been resolved, you’ll want to focus on preventing future incidents by learning from what went wrong.

  1. Never assume you aren’t a target

The worst thing you can do is assume your business isn’t a target for cybercrime. The truth is, small businesses are constantly being targeted for cybercrime. Statistics place the frequency at 43%.

Small businesses are targets mostly because hackers know they’re easy prey. Many small businesses don’t have strong cybersecurity in place because they either don’t know it’s necessary, don’t know how to implement it, or they don’t have the budget.

 If you’re running a small business with less than 250 employees, you have a target on your back. It doesn’t matter if you’re a local business or an online retailer. You could have two employees or ten – you’re a target. 

  1. Consult with a cybersecurity expert

 Cybersecurity experts are invaluable to small businesses. There are so many different types of attacks that can be launched against your business, and if you’re not prepared, you could end up completely devastated.

For example, if you get hit with a ransomware attack, but you don’t have a backup of all your files, you could end up losing your business. It’s not advised to pay ransoms since there’s no guarantee you’ll get your files back. A cybersecurity expert will set you up with a system for creating regular backups so you don’t have to worry about anything.

A cybersecurity expert can also create an IT security policy for your company to ensure that all of your employees follow the same rules where data privacy and protection are concerned. This can include changes to your company policy if you have remote workers or if you allow employees to use their own devices for work.

It’s strongly suggested that you don’t allow employees to use their own devices to perform work for your company since the risks are great. However, if you can’t afford to buy top-of-the-line devices, productivity may suffer. In this case, the best thing is to have a cybersecurity expert create your security policy. 

  1. Enforce your security policies

 Your cybersecurity policies are only as strong as your willingness to enforce them, so make sure you don’t let anyone slide. Your employees need to know there are consequences for violating security policies. Your policies are in place for a reason – to keep your business safe from cyberattacks. If you allow employees to slide on breaking policies, it could cost you dearly in terms of money and your reputation. 

Data breaches and security incidents can happen at any time

In addition to taking technical precautions, always be on alert. Security incidents can happen at any time. If you notice anything strange happening with your network, your website, or your company accounts, talk to a cybersecurity professional and get an expert opinion before it’s too late.


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