SAFEGUARDS

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Insuring Your Business Against a Security Breach

QUICK SUMMARY

It’s big news when a high profile company falls victim to a data breach and has to explain the unintended release of sensitive personal information to millions of customers. But according to a 2012 report by the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, nearly half of all data breaches since 2005 have occurred at smaller institutions and businesses. Often, small business owners have little or no data protection in place because they simply don’t believe it can happen to them.

Why Your Business Needs a Security Breach Plan

If you store business information on a computer, it’s not a question of “if” you are at risk for a data breach. It’s a question of “when” it will happen. A majority of small businesses have had multiple data breaches and most of these incidents were caused not by foreign hackers or cyber criminals but rather by employee negligence and inadvertent mishandling of records.

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Why Data Theft or Loss Can Be Expensive

The costs to your business of a data theft or loss can be significant. One study pegs the average cost at $188 per compromised record. Multiply that by thousands of records plus the expenses of diagnosing and fixing the problem, along with notifying affected customers, and the bottom line costs can skyrocket.

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How to Lower Your Risk of Data and Identity Theft

You can use careful recordkeeping to document the types of data you collect, where you store the information, and how you transmit and move the bits and bytes. Coupled with active protection protocols, like computer firewalls, anti-spyware programs and encryption software, you can lessen the vulnerability of your sensitive data.

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How to Respond to a Data Breach

Assuming it’s only a matter of when you will experience a breach, how quickly and thoroughly you respond will determine if the crisis negatively affects your long-term business relationships with the clients whose data was compromised. Data breach coverage can help cover response costs and provide guidance in managing a response plan.

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