It’s Monday morning and one of your employees notifies you that they lost their laptop at a Starbucks over the weekend, apologizing profusely. Aside from the cost and inconvenience of buying a new laptop, could you be on the hook for bigger costs, and should you notify all your clients?
Maybe, depending on where you live and what type of data you had stored on that laptop. Forty-six of the fifty states have security-breach laws outlining what businesses must do if they expose any kind of client or employee personal information, and practically every single business is directly affected by these laws.
An Emerging Trend In Business Law
Since companies are storing more and more data on their employees and clients, states are starting to aggressively enforce data breach and security laws that set out the responsibilities for businesses capturing and storing personal data. What do most states consider confidential or sensitive data? Definitely medical and financial records such as credit card numbers, credit scores and bank account numbers, but also addresses and phone numbers, social security numbers, birthdays and in some cases purchase history—information that almost every single company normally keeps on their clients.
“We Did Our Best” Is No Longer An Acceptable Answer
With millions of cyber criminals working daily to hack systems, and with employees accessing more and more confidential client data, there is no known way to absolutely, positively guarantee you won’t have a data breach. However, your efforts to put in place good, solid best practices in security will go a long way to help you avoid hefty fines. Here are some basic things to look at to avoid being labeled irresponsible:
Data security is something that EVERY business is now responsible for, and not addressing this important issue has consequences that go beyond the legal aspect; it can seriously harm your reputation with clients. So be smart about this. Talk to your attorney about your legal responsibility.
Claim your Computer Network Security Assessment and one of our top IT security experts will:
- Perform a vulnerability scan of your network to determine where the weak links are.
- Review your security and disaster recovery policies against state and federal requirements for your industry.
- Review your antivirus and anti-malware systems to ensure they are working properly. This is one of the top ways that hackers can penetrate your network.
- Review your user account settings for weak passwords and expired accounts