Data Breaches are a hot topic among many organizations – particularly due to recent issues with Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp. Most recently, LabCorp was affected by a data breach. LabCorp is one of the largest clinical laboratory networks in the world, with 7.7 million people having their personal information compromised. LabCorp utilizes a third-party collection agency, the American Medical Collection Agency that affected 12 million people who had their data compromised. AMCA’s affected system included specific financial information such as credit card numbers, bank information, social security numbers, and medical information that was on file with the organization. The financial information contained by AMCA was not provided by LabCorp. AMCA was acting on behalf of LabCorp as a collection agency for unpaid medical bills. Laboratory test results were not included in AMCA’s system since test results are not shared with collection agencies. AMCA’s system contained information from Quest as well as from other health care providers, including additional clinical laboratories. As a result of the data breach AMCA will offer 24 months of complimentary credit monitoring and identity theft mitigation services. As cyber-attacks continue to become more prevalent, it is critical to protect your organization against any potential risks. Here are a few ways to protect your organization against a data breach.

Educate Employees on How to Prevent Cyber Attacks

The effects of a data breach can be devastating to an organization and its clients. The organization’s reputation is damaged, making it difficult to regain the public’s trust. First, emphasize the need for password security with employees. Organizations should require that employees use complex passwords that are changed frequently and never written down where others might see them in plain sight. Next, teach employees to examine any emails containing links and attachments carefully. Finally, monitoring and tracking the transfer of data within your organization will prevent data from being misused.

Create a Cyber Security Plan

The best way to avoid a data breach is by prioritizing security through various best practices, processes, and procedures, and then detailing these in a policy. Ensure that the policy includes defining computer policies and acceptable use. Request that employees sign a policy that touches on things like trusted (Google, Facebook, YouTube) and untrusted websites. Make sure that paper files are shredded immediately after use and disposed of properly. Lastly, use the cloud when it makes sense. Cloud servers are encrypted and monitored by experts who look for odd behaviors. These servers also make it easy to give and remove access permissions.

Purchase Cyber Liability Insurance

When a company experiences a data breach, expenses can add up quickly. Cyber liability insurance can help businesses survive the financial repercussions of a cyber-attack. Cyber liability insurance can pay for costs related to a breach such as legal and forensic services, notifying those impacted by the breach, customer credit and fraud monitoring services, and crisis management to help rebuild the organization’s reputation. To find the best cyber liability insurance, it is recommended to speak to your insurance agent and select the best policy for your organization.

The privacy of our private and sensitive data is vital to all of us. Implementing the right procedures and recovery plans will help immensely. Continue to monitor your cyber security plan and perform audits to uncover areas of vulnerability if they exist. Taking the right steps to prevent a data breach will save you time and money in the long run. Addressing the need to have a cybersecurity plan while being proactive is the best approach to safeguarding your organization’s assets.

References: Security Trails