Recent Data Breaches Incidences You Should Be Aware Of

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USB drive dropped on street

When it comes to taking action, there’s nothing like concrete examples to spur you into action. Data breaches occur every day, and we’ve become used to hearing about them. But even though it’s easy to get data breach fatigue, awareness of the following incidences may help you better protect your business information.

Dumped documents

On Halloween, two women were arrested in Texas for stealing documents containing personal information out of dumpster behind a hotel. And a week earlier, in New Zealand, the blank sides of client documents belonging to a law firm were used for photocopying and ended up being sent to another client.

Any business that typically handles large amounts of payment card information or other paper records should have a system in place for ensuring information isn’t tossed in a trash or recycling bin. Unfortunately, paper shredding machines are time-consuming to use, and separating shredding and recycling tasks can lead to confusion about what to recycle versus what to shred. A professional paper shredding solution that uses collection containers eliminates reliance on paper shredders and enables confidential paperwork to be easily and thoroughly destroyed on a regular basis.

Lost data tapes

In one of the largest data breach settlements of 2014, TD Bank, NA agreed to an $850,000 multi-state settlement stemming from the 2012 loss of unencrypted backup tapes. This illustrates the fact that large multi-national corporations and small businesses alike can suffer from poorly monitored backup practices. There should always be an audit trail for how your media is handles, who handles it, and where it is located—whether on-site or off-site. A professional media rotation and data storage service ensures:

  • strict chain of custody procedures
  • proper tracking with bar-code technology
  • access monitoring and control
  • GPS tracking of media assets while in transit

Stolen paper records

Even in today’s world, where cyber-theft of electronic files is on the rise, hardcopy documents are also targeted by criminals. Shorter University in Georgia became a victim in September when student files were stolen from a campus facility. It is believed the files contained medical information, dates of birth, and social security numbers. Many organizations hold the belief that confidential documents are best stored in-house. However, with more companies and institutions being targeted, this belief needs to be reassessed. Often, organizations are unable to properly keep up with document inventories because they lack the resources and staff to adequately do so. A professional records storage service provides a more secure and effective method for protecting your document inventory and ensuring record retention requirements are met.

A word about Canada’s data breach disclosure law

With these examples in mind, it’s worth considering how a data breach incident could potentially impact your organization. Senate Bill S.4 would amend the Personal Information and Electronic Documents Act and require organizations to notify the Privacy Commissioner and affected individuals in the event of a breach of personal information, which may result in fines of up to $100,000. With tougher penalties likely, now is the time to put prevention solutions in place.

Docu-Dépôt provides records and information management solutions to businesses throughout Montréal and Québec. To find out more please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.

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