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November 14, 2016

Data Breach Happens: How Your Business Can Steer Clear

Whether you own and operate a large corporation or a small, startup business, data breaches are a growing issue in both the San Francisco Bay Area and all across the United States. As reports indicate, the U.S. experienced 783 data breaches in the year 2014; a record high. Since 2005 alone, an alarming 675 million records have been exposed by unauthorized sources. Furthermore, the healthcare, business, and governmental industries are predominately the business sectors affected by data breach. Sadly with every year, more Americans are falling victim to cyberattacks by data hackers. Subsequently, several corporations are experiencing financial loss, and in more severe cases must file for bankruptcy.  As a business owner, one of the most important tasks is to ensure the security of confidential information that relates to your company or those involved.

What can you do to keep your business secure from the threat of a data breach?

Any records containing sensitive data – both on physical paper and on electronic media are either securely stored or professionally destroyed. Shredding paperwork with an office shredder limits the amount of documents that can be shred in one sitting, and it requires operation which translates to employee time and money. These shredders also lack the ability to shred electronic material such as CDs, tapes, and hard drives. Partnering with a professional shredding provider will ensure that all documents, records, and material are destroyed thoroughly with zero risk of data exposure. As a NAID AAA Certified shred provider, PROSHRED San Francisco Bay Area representatives perform destruction using the highest level of document destruction technology available in the industry, while following strict state and federal rules and regulations.

Be sure to check in monthly and ask yourself whether you really need to hang on to certain records; you’ll likely discover by completing this internal audit that much of it can be collected for shredding purposes. Documents and records you should consider shredding include tax records, bank statements, sales forecasts, marketing plans, budgets, and customer lists. For those records that are continuously referenced, ensure they are stored away in lockable cabinets or drawers. Also limit which employees are granted access to these documents, to reduce internal risks.

Now you must also consider your electronic devices. When computers are not in use, all media devices should ideally be removed, including USB keys and DVDs. If you need to transport your data, confirm that data has been encrypted properly. When possible, stay away from using a Wi-Fi network while transmitting your information. Restrict computer access by only allowing it to those employees who absolutely need that permission to get at sensitive files.

You should always select complex passwords that are difficult to crack, think beyond just passwords. This means refraining to reuse passwords and updating passwords regularly. To increase your online security for your work business accounts, set security questions with answers that only you know the answers to. This will help to confirm your identity when you access your online accounts.

Lastly, implement strong anti-virus and anti-spyware software on your company’s computer system. Hackers use spyware software in an effort to obtain juicy data, and it’s typically done without any awareness. By setting up the proper anti-virus and anti-spyware software, you will reduce the risk of a cyber-attack.

Ultimately you should be prepared for anything, which means taking these preventative measures. Unfortunately, sometimes data breaches are unpredictable and they can happen without your knowledge. For information on how PROSHRED San Francisco Bay Area services can assist your business in maintaining information security, contact us at 1-925-271-7566.


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