HAMBURG, N.Y. -- It's a nightmare scenario for any small business owner: your data has been breached, compromising the trust between you and your customers, and statistics say most won't bounce back from a cyberattack.
"About one in four businesses won't survive it," said Warren Clark, president of Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York.
The Better Business Bureau, along with tech companies and law enforcement, teamed up Wednesday to offer a free cybersecurity seminar at Hilbert College.
"That's really terrible for what it can do to your customers through identity theft, it can hurt your brand because of trust issues that people have that you won't be able to contain their data," said local small business owner Bill Burke.
A breach can take a toll on your wallet as well. The average cost to fix an attack is close to $700,000.
"People are unaware of things like state fines that would happen if your data is breached, because a data breach means people identifiable information that you've collected is out there," said Clark.
Experts say viruses and malware can easily infect computers or devices through something as simple as opening an email.
"You click on it and all of a sudden that software that's included in the attachment or in the link unloads itself onto your computer then it can capture your passwords, your IDs and then it can spread across networks," said AT&T security specialist Allan Griffin.
Prevention is key: frequently changing passwords and backing up your data are just some of the ways to stage off a cyberattack.
"You have to protect yourself. Make sure your software is up to date and then protect yourself, insurance is going to be critical and I'm not in the insurance business. We wouldn't drive without insurance, this is probably a similar need," said Clark.
Training employees to detect signs of a breach is crucial as well. Experts say the longer a breach goes unreported, the worse it will get.