1. Educate and train
Ensure your employees understand the importance of protecting personal and private information and know the appropriate way to handle and protect that data. Train your staff to report any data breach, lost laptop or missing USB drive immediately, so security experts can help mitigate the impact of the loss.
2. Hackers are just the beginning
While hackers seem to get all the media coverage, non-criminal elements are at play as well. System glitches, where personal data is accidentally shared publically, accounts for more than 42% of all breaches.
3. USB drives are evil
Mini drives are easily lost and are often stolen when thieves target briefcases, purses and laptops. Make it a corporate policy to never copy private and confidential information or important data to a USB drive. If it is absolutely necessary, encrypt the data before copying it to the drive.
4. Don’t discard, destroy
When a desktop computer or laptop is replaced, destroy the hard drives. Data thieves have been known to frequent used computer stores and even dumpsters looking for drives that might contain useful information.
5. Breaches are expensive
It pays to be diligent. In addition to reputational loss, privacy and data breaches hurt the bottom line. In a joint 2013 study, data security company Ponemon and malware leader Symantec estimated that the cost of a breach was $214 per record.