The Impact of a Privacy Breach

Posted on: June 20, 2016

Employees and customers have a reasonable expectation of privacy when it comes to their personal information. Regardless of the nature or size of your company, you likely have a compilation of data which includes some or all of the following: names and addresses, email addresses, social security numbers, financial or health records, credit card information, and more. How you choose to safeguard, store, and dispose of this data plays a big part in its security. Read on to learn what can happen if this information should fall in to the wrong hands, and what you can do to prevent that from happening.

The Impact of a Privacy Breach

There is no shortage of recent examples of data breaches hitting industry giants such as eBay, Target, The Home Depot, Anthem, and Sony Pictures. These high profile breaches made headlines because of their scope, where hundreds of millions of consumers were affected and billions of dollars in losses were collectively reported. On a much smaller scale, privacy breaches can occur in any size or type of business, and are more commonplace than you might think. The impact of a privacy breach can have a number of negative consequences, including:

  • Reputation. The impact of a data breach on your reputation is something you may never recover from. Once your customers discover their personal data was exposed, they may choose to take their business elsewhere.
  • Disruption of business. During the recovery process, human and financial resources are likely to be consumed and day to day business is disrupted.
  • Finances. Depending on the level of the breach, the impact on your finances can be devastating. In addition to potential fines and/or litigation costs, a loss of business from current and potential customers is likely.
  • Loss of business. Some companies never recover from a privacy breach, as the decrease in revenues, erosion of customer base, and damage to reputation are too great.

An Ounce of Prevention

While there is no surefire way to prevent a privacy breach, there are steps you can take to significantly reduce the odds. Note that it’s important to protect hard copy and digital data, both in and out of the office.

  • Network security. Regardless of whether your company is large enough to include an IT department, it’s vital that your network security is on par with big businesses. If you can’t justify in-house IT, outsource the task to a reputable company.
  • Password protectionConsidered to be one of the weakest links, passwords should be changed on a regular basis, be no less than 8 characters, and include a mixture of letters, numbers and symbols.
  • Education. Employees should be kept up to date on the latest security protocols and what measures to take when utilizing mobile devices for business purposes.
  • Shredding. One of the most effective ways to avoid a privacy breach is by hiring a professional mobile shredding service to safely and securely shred your sensitive documents on-site. Once the documents have been irrefutably destroyed, you will be issued a Certificate of Destruction, in compliance with HIPAA, FACTA, Gramm-Leach-Bliley, or other regulatory bodies, and because shredding is done on-site, you can easily follow the chain of custody, to ensure the utmost in document security.

Secure Document Shredding for Companies throughout VA, MD, & DC

TrueShred is the leading shredding company serving Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC. Whether you require regularly scheduled shredding service or on-call shredding, TrueShred can take care of your document destruction needs securely and efficiently. Contact us for a free estimate today.

Call TrueShred At 888-322-3218 With Any Questions About Identity Theft Prevention With Our Shredding Services.

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