Protect Your Business From Data Theft

November 01, 2016

Wolfe Insurance Group

Categories: Cyber Liability

Protect the sensitive data entrusted to your business. Most businesses, large or small, are aware of the threats to their data security, whether from viruses, hackers or their own internal employees. Although the direct cost associated with responding to a breach can be staggering, a recent study found that the biggest financial consequence to organizations that experience a data breach is actually lost business.

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Sometimes it helps to put things in perspective.  In a data breach, the number of records or customers affected relates to the cost of a breach.  On average, it’s going to cost $221 for every stolen record.  Most businesses have thousands of customers so this can be a detriment to small businesses as much as large.

The top causes of data breaches haven’t really changed for several years:  Criminal and malicious attacks that take time to detect and contain.

So what can you do to lessen the risk of a breach?

These simple practices will help lessen the risk of a breach.

  • Keep sensitive data out of unauthorized reach – Put away files to keep sensitive information away from bystanders and other prying eyes at the office or in public areas where you may be working. Be alert to who could be looking at your computer screen or work materials. Don’t leave sensitive data unattended, even for a short time. Use an anti-glare privacy filter to limit others’ view of your computer screen or phone screen.
  • Lock up sensitive data – Lock cabinets, file rooms or other areas that store files containing private data about customers, clients, patients, accounts and employees. Require employees to lock their computer screens when they leave their desks.
  • Restrict access to data – Allow access only to those who have a need to know sensitive information, whether physical or electronic. Put written procedures in place defining who has access to restricted information. This is a simple step of making sure those with access are very aware of the risks and importances.
  • Determine what information is necessary – Collect and keep only the data that is absolutely necessary to conduct business. Collecting excessive personal information, such as Social Security numbers you do not need, can be more of a liability than an asset.

And for dealing with technology:

  • Limit the use of portable technology – Restrict the transfer of sensitive information from on-premises computers to portable devices, such as cell phones, laptops and USB flash drives. If it is necessary to put confidential data on these devices, make sure information is encrypted and password-protected.
  • Use password protection and encryption – Always encrypt sensitive information. Inexpensive or even free encryption technologies are readily available.
  • Install anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewalls – Run all systems with the most recent enterprise-level anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-malware applications. Use firewalls to control access to the Internet and to lock out hackers. Reducing the ability for employees to download programs can really help limit breaches from spam.
  • Properly dispose of technology hardware – Implement policies on how to securely destroy old computers, disks, tapes, copy machines, fax machines, printers, scanners, CDs, memory devices and other equipment that may contain sensitive information.

These simple practices can really help lower your risk, but even by doing all of this, the real risk is the financial risk that can burden your cash flow when you have a breach.  Cyber liability insurance can cover your financial risk.  This includes the costs to fix the breach as well as lost revenue during the breach.  Weston Wolfe of Wolfe Insurance Group has been helping businesses navigate cyber liability for as long as our providers have offered the solution.  He understands the foundational needs of a policy and what unique coverages you may need for your specific business.

Weston Wolfe, CEO of Wolfe Insurance Group is available to consult your cyber liability needs and answer any questions you have.  Give us a call or fill out a quote form online below and we’ll be in touch as soon as we can.  Find out sooner than later if you’re in need of coverage or not.

 

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