Data breaches are like burglaries. You might not know they’re happening until it’s too late. However, unlike physical robberies, a data breach can happen in seconds—and the consequences can last a lifetime.

Just ask any business owner who has fallen victim to a cyberattack. In fact, according to recent reports, the average cost of a data breach has increased by 10% since 2020. And it’s not just large corporations that are at risk. Small and medium-sized businesses are also vulnerable targets, accounting for nearly 43% of all cyberattacks.

In today’s digital age, it’s not a question of if a data breach will happen, but when. That’s why it’s important for business owners to be aware of the signs of a security breach, so they can take action before it’s too late. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the most common signs of a security breach and what you can do to protect your business.

How Can I Know If My Data Has Been Breached?

As a business owner, it’s important to stay on the lookout for potential signs of a security breach. Some of the most common indicators of compromised data include:

  • Unusual Account Activity: One of the most obvious signs of a data breach is unusual account activity. This can include unauthorized purchases or withdrawals, changes to your account information, and suspicious login attempts. Regularly monitor your accounts for any unusual activity and take action immediately if you notice anything out of the ordinary.
  • Suspicious Emails: Be wary of any suspicious emails or phone calls that ask for personal or sensitive business information, even if they appear to be from a legitimate source. More often than not, these are phishing attempts where the sender or caller attempts to gather sensitive information by posing as a trusted entity. If in doubt, don’t hesitate to contact the organization directly to confirm the request.
  • Malware or Virus Infections: Malware or virus infections are also an easy way to identify a data breach. These programs can be used to steal sensitive information, including login credentials and financial data. If your computer or work device is running slowly or displaying unusual pop-up ads, it’s important to run a malware scan and take the necessary steps to remove any threats.
  • Password Changes: If you notice your passwords have been changed without your knowledge, it’s entirely possible that someone has gained unauthorized access to your accounts, and it’s essential to change your passwords immediately. Be sure to use strong, unique passwords and enable two-factor authentication whenever possible.

It’s important to note a security breach might be occurring without these common signs, as attackers may be gathering more information or preparing to lock you out to ransom your information. That’s why, to properly protect your business, it’s a good idea to regularly monitor your systems and implement robust security protocols.

What Should I Do If My Data Is Compromised?

If you suspect your data has been compromised, it’s imperative to take quick action to minimize the damage. Here are a few steps to take:

  • Notify Your Service Provider: Whether you have an internal IT department or outsourced service provider, notify them of the suspected breach. They’ll help you identify the source and take steps to contain the damage. If you don’t have an IT department, consider hiring a professional to help you assess and remediate the situation.
  • Change Your Passwords: Changing your passwords is one of the most important things to do if you suspect a data breach. Be sure to use strong, unique passwords that are difficult to guess or crack. Consider using a password manager to generate and store complex passwords.
  • Monitor Your Accounts: Consider setting up alerts on your accounts to notify you immediately of any unusual activity. This will help you take action quickly and minimize the harm to your organization’s reputation and financial stability.
  • Notify Affected Parties: If your breach involves sensitive information such as personal or financial data, notify the affected parties immediately. Time is of the essence during this stage, and you must act quickly to prevent further damage to those affected by the breach.
  • Review and Update Your Security Protocols: Lastly, review and update your security protocols to prevent future breaches, such as using stronger passwords, implementing more robust software, and developing cyber awareness training.

Prevent Data Breaches With Guardian 365

In today’s digital age, protecting your business from data breaches is more important than ever. That’s why we’ve created Guardian 365, a comprehensive cybersecurity service designed to safeguard your business and your customers’ sensitive information.

With Guardian 365, you get an on-demand security team available 24/7/365 to monitor, remediate, and respond to potential threats. Our single-platform security management lets you view your overall security health at the click of a button, and we provide real-time security alerts to keep you informed.

Simply put, Guardian 365 turns insights into workflows, automatically remediates known threats, and investigates and responds to potential threats with human expertise. We offer detailed security reports on demand to give you complete visibility into your security posture. Don’t wait until it’s too late—take action now to protect your data.