October has been recognized as National Cyber Security Awareness Month, but a pro-active approach every month to protect your most valuable asset; information, should be included in your best practices. According to a recent study by the U.S. Secret Service, over 72% of all data breaches occurred in small or medium sized businesses and the cost of a data breach per record is $204! “Cyber hacking” is big business and no one is safe, but you can take steps to manage the risk including:
- Controlling access to data.
- Limiting delivery and exchange of client-related documents and information to secure channels.
- Leveraging firewalls, virtual private networks, anti-virus and anti-spam software as well as securing access to networks and mobile devices.
- Conducting regular assessments of possible risks to reveal hardware, software and individual site vulnerabilities.
- Create, and implement, a data security plan that includes immediate notification of all affected parties.
- Share the liability by demanding similar protocols with vendors—and checking for compliance.
Another way to protect your data is with Cyber Liability Insurance which can cover hacker attacks, viruses and worms that destroy data.
As hackers become more sophisticated everyday it’s even more important to adopt a plan to fight back against this evolving threat.