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With recent news of some large retailers, such as Target and Neiman Marcus, suffering data breaches, many companies are looking to take the necessary steps to protect their records. One of the most sacred principles that serves to protect the vital relationship between business and their customers is confidentiality of any shared information.
According to a recent report by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the recent breaches are making consumers more vigilant and more leery of handing their credit card over to businesses. With cyber crime on the rise, it is becoming necessary for businesses to become more aggressive in their approach as far as protecting company records is concerned. There are a number of ways that companies can effectively protect business records from compromise. The key is to remain proactive.
A great deal of consideration is given to all of the different types of firewalls and electronic encryption mechanisms that are available, but one of the most effective lines of defense is knowledgeable employees. Investing in training that will prepare your employees to engage and handle data will play a major role in determining the level of effectiveness of your ability to protect your company records.
Secure Documents and Equipment
Even in the technology age, paper documents are still targeted by those looking to obtain data that will allow them to assume the identity of another. Actually, paper documents are an easy target for some criminals, mainly because more emphasis is being placed on protecting electronic data. The reach of criminals attempting to steal paper documents is limited due to the need to be present, but the threat exists nonetheless.
The first line of defense in protecting paper documents is to secure them. On a superficial level the solution would seem to be placing them under lock and key; however, a more effective method would be to convert the paper documents to electronic files and then shred the paper files. This completely eliminates the immediate threat. Obviously, your typical shredder will not suffice for an operation that generates a significant amount of documents on a regular basis, such as a law office or an accounting firm. A viable alternative would be to hire a mobile shredding company such as Paper Recycling & Shredding Specialists. Mobile document shredding companies shred all documents onsite, following a specific protocol to reduce the risk of compromise.
Create a Response Plan
No matter how well a business works to protect their data, there is still a chance that they will experience a data breach at some point. Where many business fail is in their ability to minimize the damage when a breach occurs. Creating a response plan can help minimize the extent of a breach.
Remaining proactive in keep security systems current will remain a key element in protecting sensitive data. Criminals are consistently evolving in their approach and the techniques used, meaning that owners must fight to remain ahead of the curve.