Data breaches are still happening.
That place you went for tacos last week was breached and now you need a new debit card. Your favorite department store was breached over the holidays last year and you had already gotten a new debit card. Even your cousin's home business has been breached and her essential oil empire is now in jeopardy.
It's pretty scary as a consumer. And if you own a business, data breaches can be downright terrifying. It's not just an inconvenience for a business. Data breaches can cost millions of dollars to clean up and your company's reputation may never fully recover.
But where are all these data breaches coming from?
It turns out that 63% of data breaches are caused by the lax security procedures of third-party vendors who may not be trained to handle your company's sensitive information. It's true. Your data breach might not even be your fault, but you better believe you'll have to pay to clean it up.
Take, for example, the healthcare industry. This is one of the costliest industries to clean up, as data breaches can cost an average of $355 per breached record. That's compared to an average of $158 across all industries. The data processed by healthcare companies is more sensitive and more protected and there are quite complicated laws surrounding its processing.
This includes the following:
If you own a doctor's office and hire someone to send out appointment reminder cards, you better make sure they're HITRUST certified for HIPAA compliance. Don't just assume they are HIPAA compliant. Remember that a data breach can completely shut down a small medical practice. Make sure your contractors are certified to handle the information you share with them to reduce your risk.
In other industries, data breaches aren't as costly to deal with, but they're just as serious. On average, public sector records are the least expensive to clean up, at $80 per breached record. But, if you survive that long, reputational damage can still impact your business for years to come.
Since data breaches can be so costly — the average in 2016 was $4 million — the easiest way to stop them in their tracks is to make sure your third-party vendors are certified to handle all data. sensitive to your business. Everything from your HVAC company to the company that supplies your printers can be the weakest link in your information security plan.
When you own a business, third-party contractors are your lifeline. You can outsource your payroll, billing, mailings, and printing so you can spend more time growing your business. As long as you follow strict guidelines about who your business will work with and what they will have access to, relying on third-party vendors for help can help your business grow and thrive. /P>
See also:7 top tips to avoid getting caught in a phishing ring
Cyber thieves are always waiting for you to leave the slightest opening in your company's sensitive data. Preventing their access is crucial to your long-term success in your field. Customers won't want to do business with you after just one data breach, so it's up to you to fill in all the gaps. Learn more about preventing data breaches with this infographic!