With all the talk in the news over the last several months on data breaches, we obviously are a bit nervous about the safety of our information. As a small business you need to make sure that your customer’s information is safe at all times. A data breach for a business can tarnish your reputation and relationships. Is your business prepared to deal with a breach if it were to happen? Most businesses are not. Here are a few case examples from small businesses that experienced a data breach and the cost.
- A burglar broke into an accountant’s office and stole a computer with the tax records of 800 clients. The accountant’s clients were in four states and the owner needed assistance complying with the variances of state notification requirements. Clients were urged to contact their banks and place fraud alerts on their credit files. Cost to company for notification and services: $28,000
- A box of rental applications with the name, address and social security numbers of 2,600 individuals was stolen from an apartment building office. Cost to business for notification and services: $91,000
- Three external back-up hard drives with private personal records for 300 patients were stolen from a local physician’s office. Cost to business for notification and services: $10,500.
These are just a few examples how a data breach can affect your business. But what can you do as a small business to help prevent a potential data breach? Here are a few guidelines from Travelers to help keep your business protected.
- Set up an incident response team to create a plan that outlines how your company will address any data breaches; establish clear roles and responsibilities for team members.
- Be sure your anti-virus protection is installed and kept up to date. Designate a limited few within your company who will be responsible for downloading and installing programs. Only download programs from trusted sources, and instruct all employees to stay away from software ads or links on email or pop-up ads.
- Email is the most prevalent way of spreading computer viruses. Inform employees to never to open an email that looks suspicious or contains odd spellings or characters. They should only open emails from people they know or with whom they have communicated in the past. Explain phishing and hacking techniques. Have them fully shut down their computers at the end of the business day.
Read the full article here from Travelers.
Having the proper business insurance is important as well. Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance can help decide which business insurance is best for you.
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