Data Breaches: Are You Keeping Up With Smart Cyber Criminals?

By: In: Small Business On: Mar 20, 2015
Data Breaches: Are You Keeping Up With Smart Cyber Criminals?

Have you been a little nervous about data thieves striking your firm? If so, you’re certainly not worrying over nothing. Thanks to high-profile attacks on Target and other major retailers, you’ve become well aware of how criminals are swiping customer identities with relative ease. But did you know sophisticated thieves are now seeking bigger game, including the theft of whole website domains? At least 15 companies went to court last year to reclaim their purloined sites.

Unfortunately, it’s not only large multinationals that are the targets of criminals seeking to appropriate sensitive information. According to a 2013 survey by the National Small Business Association, cyber criminals had attacked 44 percent of the respondents’ businesses during the previous year.

A Partner Against Crime

The NBSA survey also reports that 39 percent of respondents are handling their own online security. Given both the ever-changing methods of cyber criminals and the risks to reputation and income involved, this is one area of your business in which DIY won’t do. By working with a trusted partner well versed in data protection, you can:

  • Mitigate the risks of weak spots. Like all criminals, data thieves look for weaknesses. An experienced partner can help shore up your defenses by establishing a blueprint for protecting electronic records that features a privacy policy, data encryption, and firewalls. With secure offsite storage and regular records pickups, a partner can also make sure that papers containing social security or credit card numbers stay safe.
  • Eliminate theft opportunities. How many times have you read about thieves discovering trade secrets or vital customer information in a dumpster? A trusted partner can shred unneeded paper records regularly, in a secure manner, and safely dispose of hard drives—the stuff of data thieves’ dreams.
  • Cut through regulatory confusion. If you’re based in New York, how quickly do you need to inform your customers of a data breach? What if you’re doing business in California, or multiple states? And how stiff a fine will you face for failing to comply? A partner with a long track record in data management and protection can create a framework to guide your compliance with laws that vary dramatically from state to state.

You Can’t Be Too Careful

So now you know that your fears of cyber crime are not unfounded. In fact, to borrow a line from Joseph Heller’s classic novel Catch 22, “just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.” This is particularly true when you don’t know how or when the enemy will strike.

While there’s no guarantee that you can prevent dedicated hackers from seeking to access to your data, working with a knowledgeable partner can at least install additional layers of protection around your information.

 Interested in learning more about how to safeguard your vital information online? Register now for “Protecting Your Small Business From a Data Breach,” an Iron Mountain webinar being held on March 25. We’re hosting this important session in conjunction with the U.S. Small Business Administration and CSR Professional Services.

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About the author

René Grajales

North America Vice President of Sales Strategy and Solutions Since joining in 2007, Grajales has lead a series of changes that will forever impact the way Iron Mountain serves their customers. His passion for supporting the ever-changing needs of our clients, and ensuring Iron Mountain is a company that is extremely easy to do business with are only rivaled by his dedication to customer satisfaction. Prior to Iron Mountain, Grajales founded and managed an international import/exports logistics, warehousing, and distribution company in Latin America, held various roles in IT Consulting with EDS/HP assigned to the airline industry, and as the Director of Channels Sales and Marketing for Latin America within the Intelligroup/Empower Solutions group of companies serving ERP customers with offshore IT consulting and programming solutions. He holds a Master of Business Administration, a Postgraduate degree in marketing, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Computer Information Science from the University of Tampa, Florida. In addition, Grajales has attended leadership executive training at Harvard University, Boston and Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management, Illinois.