Tag Archives: cyber security

How Companies Can Prevent Data Breaches

In today’s technology-driven world, many companies amass a large volume of highly-sensitive data such as credit card numbers, consumer/employee personal information, social security numbers, etc. As a result, this has created an ever-present threat of data breaches where information can wind up in the wrong hands.

In fact, research from the 2015 Cyberthreat Defense Report found “70 percent of organizations reported having been compromised by a successful cyber attack in the past 12 months.” This has created a legitimate concern for companies across many industries, necessitating the need to take data breaches seriously.

 

What’s the Risk of a Data Breach?

Although it’s impossible to say what the precise odds are of a data breach within your company because of all the different variables involved, data breaches have increased globally and no one is immune. Predicting a breach ultimately relies upon two main factors — the number of records a company maintains and the industry its in.

Companies that manage a lot of sensitive data (e.g. those in the medical, financial and retail industries) tend to be more susceptible than others who manage fewer records with less sensitive information.

 

Relevant Laws and Regulations

Currently, there are two federal laws that specifically address data security — the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act and the Fair Credit Report Act. Both were designed to ensure that companies follow proper protocol when handling and disposing of sensitive information. If there does happen to be a data breach that’s due to the negligence of a company, it can result in costly fines and penalties.

In addition, there are 47 states that have created security breach laws to help ensure that businesses and government entities take adequate precautions when handling sensitive data. You can find more information on these state laws on the National Conference of State Legislatures website.

 

How to Protect Yourself

Minimizing this threat usually begins by educating yourself and your team on how to appropriately handle data. For instance, you might provide training on:

  • Collecting non-essential data
  • Properly disposing expired data
  • Reacting to a suspected data breach

It’s wise to implement a routine threat assessment program that periodically checks your risk level. Then, make the necessary adjustments to heighten security. This will often catch a small issue before it gets out of hand.

Another strategy is to utilize a robust security software program that uses cutting-edge techniques to prevent intrusions. This usually involves user authentication systems and encryption to monitor your network at all times.

Be sure to exercise caution when deciding who has access to sensitive information. For instance, only allow your most highly trusted employees to handle sensitive data — and it’s always smart to perform background checks before granting access.

 

Technology can be a double-edged sword when it makes our lives easier while the same time creating significant data security threats. Implement proactive measures before it becomes a problem to prevent a lot of headaches on your end, allowing you to run your business with greater peace of mind.

 

 

Photo by perspec_photo88

RMI Partners With MetLife to Offer Identity Theft and Personal Data Protection

Here at RMI, we’ve offered a variety of benefits packages to employers so they could meet the needs of their employees and use it as leverage to attract and retain top talent. Some common types of benefits include healthcare, dental, vision, life and retirement plans. But with technology being increasingly pervasive and touching nearly every corner of life, we’ve decided to add a new benefit — identity theft and personal data protection. Here are the details.

 

The Growing Need to Protect Sensitive Data

As more and more people continue to store highly sensitive data online such as personal, financial and medical information, identity theft has become a growing concern. In fact, Fox Business Reports that “a new identity theft fraud victim was hit every two seconds in America in 2013, and there were 13.1 million total victims during that year.” With data breaches being more and more commonplace, individuals are taking this concern seriously and looking for ways to keep sensitive information safe.

At RMI, we realize that identity theft and personal data information protection is a benefit that many employers are now interested in offering to their employees. That’s why we partnered up with MetLife to offer this as a benefit, which comes with comprehensive coverage.

 

Personal Information That’s Protected

The technology used monitors personal, financial, medical and even social media data to cover the full spectrum. This is much more robust than many other services that only monitor credit and fail to keep tabs on other critical areas. The Internet is continually scanned to monitor things like a person’s Social Security number, bank account and passwords to ensure that everything is secure at all times.

There’s also protection for an employee’s children, which includes warding off online predators and cyberbullies. With these types of issues being a real concern for parents these days, this kind of protection can be extremely valuable. In total, there are more than 25 data points. If a data breach occurs, it will be quickly detected and the information secured to significantly reduce any sensitive data from being leaked. With such an extensive defense system in place, it helps keep would-be cybercriminals at bay and prevent financial loss and a lot of headaches.

 

Dedicated Support

If a data breach has occurred, a person will be notified via a timely alert. They will have access to professional customer service 24/7 for around the clock assistance. There is also a $5 million service guarantee in place. This means that if an employee becomes a victim to identity theft and suffers out-of-pocket losses due to an error on MetLife’s part, they are guaranteed to be paid up to $5 million to cover the losses.

 

Cost of Coverage

Coverage is fairly affordable and can include an employee’s family members. Here’s a breakdown of the rates:

  • $15.00 Employee
  • $20.00 Employee + Child(ren)*
  • $25.00 Employee + Spouse/Domestic Partner
  • $30.00 Employee + Spouse/Domestic Partner + Child(ren)*

*Covers all eligible children. Children’s eligibility is from birth up to age 26.

With technology becoming more and more intertwined with our daily lives, identity theft and personal data protection is a type of coverage that many employees are interested in. Consequently, it’s smart to consider implementing this new benefit being offered by RMI.

Photo by genphyslab