When most people and businesses think of data breach they automatically think customer data. Now is a great time of year to check your data and be sure it is protected. Not just customer data but sensitive information for employees, contractors..like w-2's and 1099's.
We strongly recommend that you take the time necessary to inspect your current paper and digital files to be sure they are being handled and stored properly and most importantly, securely. Manta suggests shredding or archiving old information, and if storing online be sure shared access is not available. The most simple and often times overlooked security loophole is your operating system. Make sure it is as up to date as possible as there are often time security patches that are automatically installed.
Some commercial package policies that we issue now have data breach response coverage built in automatically and this coverage can be increased by endorsement. Also by endorsement is data breach liability protection. As you can imagine recovering this sensitive data is very costly not to mention the cost to simply deal with the problem.
eFile4Biz, an IRS authorized e-file provider for online processing of 1099's and w-2's, shares these guidelines:
Keep only the information you need. Eliminate or archive older data.
•Set routine procedures for tasks, such as when/how to dispose of tools that contain house sensitive info.
•Protect paper documents from a security breach or identity theft. Lock cabinets in which papers are kept.
•Keep an inventory of your information sources. Make sure as a small business owner you know where your important data is at all times.
•Review your network setup. Protect your business with a strong firewall and strong security programs.
•Provide access to information only on a “need to know” basis. Protected information includes not only employee/contractor data, but also your pass codes.
If you are interested in learning more about data breach be sure to visit the Research Center section of our website and click on Data Breach Protection or simply click here.
Make sure your sensitive emails are on lock down as well - always send that type of information encrypted and send separate email to the individual with user name & pasword info to access.
As always if you have questions or would like to know if the coverage I mentioned are included in your current policy please feel free to contact us. Even if you are not our current client we are happy to provide you with a FREE insurance review.