The personal information of customers, employees and/or tenants entrusted to you is critical to the day-to-day functioning of your business. So have you ever considered what would happen if this business data was lost, stolen or accidentally released?
Whether it’s a misplaced computer, an improperly shredded document or a hacked database, business data can easily become exposed. If it does, a business data breach could occur.
Don’t think it can’t happen to you: 55 percent of small businesses responding to a recent survey said they experienced a business data breach. That’s a scary thought since the majority of states require that business owners take action if the nonpublic, personal information of their customers is lost or stolen.
Protect Your Business Data
Luckily, there are ways to protect your business data. Here are just a few:
- Invest in sound security technology. This is a complex matter, and the level of security you need will varies depending on the nature of your business. Do some research or consult with an information security expert to learn the best options for your business. The right technology might not be cheap, but it will almost certainly cost less than losing sensitive business data.
- Educate employees. Teach your employees how to handle sensitive business data, set strong passwords and avoid dangerous links and emails. You might also consider granting special access to sensitive business data on an as-needs basis.
- Practice data minimization. Reduce the amount of business data in your care by refraining from collecting information you don’t need, reducing the number of places you store your business data and safely purging any business data you no longer need.
- Monitor the whereabouts of your devices. Put a system in place that quickly lets you know if a device is missing. Also make sure to lock up any devices that aren’t being used.
- Properly dispose of business data. Shred sensitive documents and make sure to wipe clean the hard drives of any devices you no longer need.
- Screen future hires. Unscrupulous or careless employees will up the chances of a business data breach. The Small Business Association lists several screening resources that are worth consulting.
Unfortunately, there’s no foolproof way to completely prevent a business data breach. That’s why it’s also worth considering Data Breach Response Expenses insurance coverage.* This coverage is available as an endorsement to an ERIE commercial policy and helps business owners respond when nonpublic personal information of others in their care has been lost, stolen or inadvertently released. It also provides notification and monitoring services to impacted individuals as well as access to crisis resolution and data security resources for your business.
If you’re looking for even more comprehensive protection, ERIE also offers coverage that will take care of expenses arising from any lawsuits resulting from a data breach. Learn more by contacting a local ERIE Agent in your community.
*See individual policies and endorsements for specific details of coverages. Certain terms and limitations apply. Refer to our disclaimer for more information.