The rate businesses are experiences data breaches is growing. The Equifax Data breach was a massive scandal and severely damaged the brand’s image and cost them big.

Now, big brands like Equifax and Target have stockholders and millions of dollars to cover their losses. But experiencing a data breach when you’re a small to medium-sized business can spell the end.

There are negative consequences to having your company falling victim to fraud and putting your clients’ data in jeopardy.

Lost customers

If your customers lose faith in your ability to protect them, they are going to move away and work with another business they trust more.

Take Wells Fargo for example. Customers who had been with them for decades left even if they hadn’t been signed up for fake accounts. They knew their accounts could be taken advantage of and didn’t trust the bank to keep them safe.

Even if you’ve provided fantastic service for the last several years, it only takes one bad experience to make people lose faith you can serve their business.

Lost revenue

Losing customers due to a data breach is hard to come back from, and it can wreck your finances.

Even if 10-15% of your customers leave your business you’re losing thousands of dollars every month in recurring business and now have to cover the loss.

But, if your image has been tarnished, it means you’re more likely to have difficulty attracting new customers.

Lawsuits and fines

There are usually fines and penalties from the federal and state for losing customers information, but that’s only part of the money you may owe.

Clients may want to sue your business for handling their credit card and payment information, for the lost amount and also for damages.

Legal battles are a massive pain and costly for a business, and it can easily set back your growth plans and remove any equity you’ve built. It could be enough to force you into bankruptcy.

How you can protect yourself

There’s a lot of ways your business should protect yourself and customers from letting their information from falling into the wrong hands.

One of the best things to do is never keep their information on your property. Now that doesn’t mean only shredding all paper documents and storing everything on your server.

Keeping credit card or account numbers in your internal network is incredibly dangerous. Now someone only has to hack into your internal network, and they have access to all your clients’ payment information.

Don’t store any information on your computer, in fact; you should have any payment information encrypted and stored on a point-to-point encrypted cloud-based solution.

Security advisors keep pushing for businesses to keep moving payment information from their internal servers onto the cloud through PCI Compliance secured gateways.

You can protect your business and your customers by removing payment information from your hands into a secure payment method that can never be recovered due to encryption.

Want to handle your customers’ payment data in the most secure way possible? Contact us and learn how your business can process payments securely.