For many who have a business for sale or want to buy, the decision is by no means insignificant. As growing numbers of businesses move online, social media and e-commerce solutions are gaining importance.
By shifting online, however, many businesses are now having to incorporate more complex information technology (IT) teams and systems to manage and secure their data. How this will affect people buying or selling a business is largely reliant on the type of data stored and how valuable it could be.
The cost of data
According to their annual Cost of Data Breach study, IBM estimates the average total cost of a data breach to be around $4 million in 2016. The study further states that each lost or stolen record containing sensitive and confidential information increased from $154 to $158.
So how can someone buying a business ensure that the data they will be helping secure remains that way? Primarily, there are two crucial elements to consider:
These two essentially go hand in hand, but understanding how information will be stored is the first step in guaranteeing the on-going security of your customers' data.
How are you storing information?
The term hash, sadly, has nothing to do with hashbrowns. Instead, when we talk about a hash we're discussing a method of encryption that turns a plain text password, such as 'Password1234' into a jumbled amount of letters, such as '$1$O3JMY.Tw$AdLnLjQ/5jXF9.MTp3gHv/'.
Understanding how information will be stored is the first step in on-going data security.
When sensitive information is stored with a company, such as user login details, bank account information or purchase history, the best method for a business to ensure security is to convert the data into a hash string.
So how does this all work? Well, a business that uses a hash string never actually stores the data, it simply matches an input hash with the stored hash key. In the example above, 'Password1234' will always return the exact same hash key, and if it matches with the form stored at the business, it will grant the user access.
Is this really that important for a business?
The short answer is: absolutely. Many individuals don't choose strong or secure passwords, meaning your method of encrypting this data is more crucial than anything. With the correct data storage method, even when selling a business, you can ensure the safety of your customers and data now, and in the future.