We understand the need to achieve growth and profitability for your business. One way to accomplish these goals are to monitor expenses. Yet, your company’s security is one area where short-term cost-cutting won’t pay financial dividends in the long run.
For example, consider the incident discussed in, “Bank of America data leak destroys trust,” published on May 24, 2011 by the Los Angeles Times. One (now former) Bank of America employee had stolen, "names, addresses, Social Security numbers, phone numbers, bank account numbers, driver's license numbers, birth dates, email addresses, mother's maiden names, PINs and account balances.”
This confidential information was then passed to criminals outside of the bank, who allegedly used the data to commit identity theft. While the details of the breach are still emerging, a Bank of America official anticipated there are roughly 300 victims, with as much as $20,000 stolen from certain individuals.
With those estimates, Bank of America is looking at a theft of roughly $6 million. That number doesn’t factor in any legal fees, restitution payments or customer attrition, all of which make the actual cost much higher. In fact, the U.S. Secret Service, who busted the criminal ring, estimated the cost to the bank would be nearly $10 million. [i]
Think about these figures in the context of your business. Could you withstand such losses?
Given the potentially enormous expense of a security breach, prevention certainly makes sense. We’ve outlined a few internal security tips:
- Know who you’re hiring by performing background checks, contacting references or outsourcing recruitment to a reputable employment agency.
- Limit network access to keep employees’ access restricted from confidential information unless it is an absolute job necessity.
- Monitor employee activity by using software thatsends alerts if certain files are accessed or an employee makes an attempt to download restricted information.
- Educate your employees about how to properly handle emails, share files and destroy confidential paperwork once it is no longer needed.
- Update your security policies to keep pace with new threats from criminals, employee turnover and emerging technology.
As you can see, these tips are based in common sense, and they are not necessarily difficult or expensive to implement. Yet given the frequency of security breaches, especially insider breaches, many businesses still have a lot to learn about company security. Don’t learn these lessons the hard way by implementing security measures after you’ve had a breach!
At Shred-it, we’re experienced at helping companies of all sizes and industries review their security policies and implement document destruction practices that are secure and reliable. Please visit our service page
to learn more about how we can help keep your confidential information secure.