If your business handles personally identifiable information, it is important to keep the information secure in order to protect your clients. This includes patient records, employment records, loan applications, tax forms, medical forms, credit card applications, and more. Security breaches are a real and large threat to businesses off all sizes and across all industries. Health care and financial related companies are at even more of a risk. No one wants a data breach to occur, but the fact is they happen on a regular basis. In 2016 U.S. companies and government agencies suffered a staggering 1,093 data breaches. What can a data breach cost for your business?
Data Breaches Cost More Than You Think
In a recent 2016 IBM study, the average cost per lost or stolen record was $225. Heavily regulated industries experienced a higher cost per lost or stolen record. The health care industry had a staggering average cost of $380, which the financial services industry had a cost of $336. What do these costs include? They include both direct and indirect costs such as:
- Increased turnover of customers
- Investments in technologies to resolve data breach
- Legal fees
- Special investigative activities
- Help desk activities
- Identity protection services
- Assessment and audits
- Crisis team management
- And more
The average total cost for companies who suffered a data breach of more than 50,000 records cost an average of $10.3 million. Think your company is too small to have a data breach really effect you? Think again. According to the same IBM study, data breaches involving small businesses can cost a staggering $4.5 million. Data breaches small or large also tarnish your company’s hard-earned trustworthy reputation, making it harder to gain new clients even years down the road.
Protect Your Business from Data Breaches
While many people associate data breaches to cyber terrorists and online hackers, the truth is often times data breaches occur from improper handling or disposing of personal documents. The best way to ensure this type of data breach doesn’t occur is to have strict document handling and disposing protocols. Utilizing a commercial shredding service can help to ensure that the right documents are disposed properly and in accordance with any regulations in order to keep your business safe.