What business owners can learn from recent data breaches

January 31, 2014

Businesses and organizations may be working on getting rid of their filing cabinets of paperwork, but it is equally as important to protect these documents as if they were stored in physical folders. Failing to store sensitive data without the appropriate protections poses a huge risk to the business and its customers.

This is especially true with a person’s finances. Nowadays, many Americans are blindly typing in their debit and credit cards on websites, swiping away at stores and sharing information with friends and family over unsecured networks — any of these instances can serve as an opportunity for hackers who are looking to steal personal information.

Recently, the FBI released a report to retailers all over the United States, recommending them to increase security on their point-of-sale systems and computers because over 100 million may have been affected by Target’s data breach last year.

“We believe POS malware crime will continue to grow over the near term, despite law enforcement and security firms’ actions to mitigate it,” the report reads.

If a major retailer like Target suffered a breach, the chances of a mom-and-pop store or local government office being attacked may be even higher. Due to a lack of consistent database management services, today’s scammer has more tools at their disposal and keeping data secure is more complicated than ever.

“Everybody we work with in the retail space is scared to death because they don’t have a lot of defenses to prepare against these types of attacks,” an anonymous disaster recovery consultant told Reuters. “This is not just based on anybody saying ‘This is going to happen.’ This is based on statistical data that the FBI is seeing.”

Why these cyber security risks are much different than previous ones

Unlike past scams, personal information was taken to re-wire money into offshore accounts. Because IT has advanced so much, the value of taking money from individuals may not be as rewarding as it once was. However, what seems to be the trend is taking these names and account numbers to work toward stealing their identities, ultimately causing huge blows to their credit score and finances.

“They are increasingly targeting—learning the habits and preferences of their potential targets to better tailor malware to the intended audience,” Steve Durbin, global vice president of Information Security Forum, explained to PC World. There’s little chance that this threat will diminish, and more targeted attacks will make it difficult to track, analyze and protect against them.”

Data processes, just like any other technology, go through their own changes every year, perhaps sooner than that now. If these updates are made on a regular basis, it will be a lot less cumbersome, enabling workers to continue benefiting with their records management systems.

Tab Service Company is a Chicago based company with over 53 years of experience as a data processing service provider. We provide business with outsourcing solutions for document scanning services, data entry services and mailing/lettershop services. As an SOC2-approved organization, we apply industry-best practices to our approach with clients.