Top business and technology news media outlets are buzzing about the increasing number of major data breaches that have occurred so far in 2014 and see no slow-down in sight. On 22 July the Associated Press reported that Goodwill, the non-profit agency, which operates 2,900 stores in the U.S. said its computer systems had been hacked leading to the possible theft of customers’ credit and debit card information.
In the last year other major companies like Target, LinkedIn, eBay and Neiman Marcus have also been hacked. These incidents have a major impact on a company’s bottom line. Not only in the form of costs associated with attempting to avoid or settle related law suits, but also the loss of consumer confidence and a tarnished reputation.
Fact is data breaches continue to be on the rise with the Identity Theft Resource Center 395 data breaches in the U.S. this year that have been reported to regulators or covered by media outlets, a 21 percent increase over the same period last year.
But if data breaches cannot be avoided by large internet savvy companies like Target and eBay, what are the options for small to medium business owners who are dedicated to protecting their customers personal data?
We decided to address that problem by adding Second Opinion Computer Security Audits to our menu of services designed to help ease the burden of overwhelmed small to medium sized business owners and medical practice managers concerned about this important issue.
As our own Chris Finegan says, “When you’re running a business, your attention is pulled in a thousand different directions but we’ve seen increasing interest in proactive security audits and now offer a package of security and network evaluations for business owners who want a “second opinion” to bolster their confidence and the confidence of their customers.”
“A big part of our role during our security audit is customer education. IT management and security isn’t simple. Doing it well requires adopting a holistic view of the business and making sure that employees understand how to participate in security without leaving them hamstrung with burdensome practices.”
“We work with clients to take ownership of their assets and processes as a trusted partner. That includes things like ensuring computers and storage media are secured (and encrypted if necessary), files and email are protected during employee transitions, and sensitive data is thoroughly wiped or destroyed when old computers are replaced.”
“While every company can benefit from them, it’s especially important that medical practices and financial institutions take prompt and effective action to secure their environments. The first step in that process is a thorough evaluation of what’s currently in place.”
“By providing our second opinion audits, we not only improve productivity and security, we also free up staff to focus on running and growing their companies. A lot of folks see IT as an expense. Done well, it’s a huge benefit and competitive advantage. Done poorly, it’s a distraction, a money sink, and a legal and financial risk.”
Contact us today to find out more about our second opinion security audits.
If you are the owner of a small healthcare provider practice or small business owner that provide health benefits to your employees, you probably have some questions about how the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy and Security Rules, and the HITECH Breach Notification Rule apply to you.
This Health and Human Services HIPAA Small Provider and Small Business FAQ page might provide some answers for you
Last summer, a health insurance company in New York found out the hard way that modern copiers store a lot more information than you might expect. When they returned their leased copiers, they also unknowingly shipped out medical information on over 344,000 people. The resulting lawsuit ended in a $1,215,780 settlement, and that doesn’t include legal fees or the cost of mandated corrective actions!
If you’re a medical provider or financial firm, you are required by law to comply with various regulations covering protection and disclosure of data. But even if you’re not, you likely have confidential information on your copiers (HR records, bids, contracts) that you wouldn’t want opened up to the outside world. Consider the fact that most copiers are also fax machines and printers, and it quickly becomes apparent just how much information passes through them.
Before your next equipment lease is up, get in touch with FullScope IT. We can help you safely wipe your copiers, protect your business, and give you peace of mind.