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December 18, 2018 | Posted in:

Data Security: The Best Defense is a Good Offense

Is your personal information at risk for identity theft? Is your business data protected from hackers, from natural disasters, even from cleaning staff who unplug your server by mistake? It’s not a matter of IF you’re going to have a data problem, it’s when. Fortunately, you can take precautions now to protect your personal finances and your company.

Secure Your Personal Information

One in 15 Americans will be victims of identify theft and the impact can be devastating. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, the consequences for victims include:

  • Denial of a credit card (38%)
  • Being turned down for a student loan, mortgage or personal loan (34%)
  • Debt because of the theft (28%)

Protect Your Business

In 2017, 61% of small businesses experienced a cyber attack and six out of 10 of them were out of business within six months.

The costs of a data breach can include legal fines, litigation expenses and remediation charges, not to mention business disruption, information loss and damage to your company’s reputation.

While there is no perfect security solution, doing nothing is no longer an option. Here are six specific action steps to get you started:

  • Obtain a SOC report: This independent assessment of your cybersecurity risk will give you a clear picture of what’s working and what’s not.
  • Turn your employees into human firewalls: Your people are your first line of defense. Train them to spot phishing and other scams.
  • Strengthen your remote worker policies: Be sure to have strict VPN password policies and 2-factor authentication. Also limit critical data access to those who absolutely need it.
  • Review your vendor contracts: Set required security standards for your vendors and ensure that your contract language is clear regarding data responsibilities.
  • Invest in cyber insurance: Most commercial property insurance and general liability insurance is insufficient to cover cyber exposures. Consider a policy that covers data breaches, network security, regulatory fines, and notification costs, among others.
  • Think about the cloud: IT and business experts agree: the cloud is safer than on-premise solutions for data security. If your hardware is aging, now’s the time to consider cloud options.

Partner with a CPA and business advisor

Alloy Silverstein now offers Identity Theft Defense, a one-time service to help safeguard your personal information and SOC reports to evaluate the effectiveness of your business cybersecurity controls.

 

 

The expert panel at our 2018 Security Symposium included moderator Julie Strohlein, CPA and speakers Ren Cicalese III, CPA, MST, Alloy Silverstein; Scott Kinka, Evolve IP; Mary Anne Schafer, SMI Network and Cloud Experts; Denise L. Sanders, Esq., Capehart Scatchard, P.A.; Joseph Haggerty, CPCU, ARM, CRM, CIC, CISR of Hardenbergh Insurance Group; and Harry Srolovitz, Atlantic, Tomorrow’s Office.

 

 

 

 

 

Author:

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JB Financial Associates is now Alloy Silverstein.
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