We’ve all heard the news stories about massive data breaches that result in personal information being stolen from tens, even hundreds of thousands of customer accounts. These days it seems such reports have become all too commonplace.

But unless you’ve been victimized personally by such a malicious infiltration, or you’re the CTO of a company that failed to adequately safeguard its customers’ private information, much of the media’s buzz regarding cyber security likely triggers little more than a “glad it’s not me” attitude.

However, while many of the companies that grace the news with such ignominious headlines can afford to overcome their mishaps in terms of both bottom-line damage and negative PR, small businesses could find themselves in dire straits as the result of insufficient data-protection policies and/or procedures.

As reported by Info Security Magazine, a study conducted by the Poneman Institute (an independent researcher of data protection and emerging data security technologies) shows the extent to which a single malicious breach impacts an organization’s balance sheet. Using data compiled in 2012 through the polling of 3,529 IT and IT security professionals in eight countries (the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, Brazil, Japan, Singapore, and the UAE), Poneman’s findings conclude that on average, a single malicious data breach cost each affected organization $840,000 in overall impact—a significant chunk of change for most small businesses.

What’s being done to address the ever-present threat of data infiltration? Cyber security technology provider McAfee is onData Security Webcast the bleeding edge of the industry’s efforts to thwart not only the criminals who continuously pursue network security flaws, but also the company employees who unwittingly open the door to such malicious activities.

Security experts from McAfee and Xerox teamed-up to produce a timely and extremely informative webcast, “SMB Security Guide for Innovating in Today’s Ever-Changing Technology Ecosystem,” which is now available for online viewing by anyone who wants to ensure they’re doing everything they can to protect their own and/or their customers sensitive information.

As you know by now, whether you’re an IT professional with a large enterprise or the owner of a small business, data protection is something few can afford to ignore.