Smooth Data Backup Moves: Smarter Protection From Cybercriminals

Topics: Cloud Backup

Cyber crooks may be trying to mine gold from your vital business data. Will they succeed? Their chances for success decrease if you take these steps to protect your company’s data—and its reputation.

Did You Know?

In the U.S., 46 states have data privacy laws, and 29 enforce data disposal regulations for sensitive consumer information.

Fast Fact: The Identity Theft Resource Center reported that in the first half of 2012, 216 major corporate security breaches exposed 8.5 million people to the threat of identity theft.

Your best customer, also a personal friend, just called in a panic. Someone used her credit card to purchase a trip to Cancun, a wine cooler and a bearskin rug. Scary? You bet—and not just because she’s a homebody, a teetotaler and a well-known animal-rights advocate.

The worst part: You’ll eventually find out that this happened because of a breach in your data security procedures.

A Household Threat With Corporate Origins

More Americans are becoming victims each year. In 2010, 8.5 million U.S. households suffered identity-theft incidents, losing a total of $13.2 billion, according to a Department of Justice report. In 2011 those numbers increased, with nearly 12 million Americans becoming victims of some kind of identity theft, according to a study by Javelin Strategy & Research. Among the causes for all the trouble: more than 200 significant corporate data breaches in the first half of the year alone. What a mess.

What if you found out that your company was in fact responsible for losing or leaking personal information that resulted in a rash of cybercrime—including your friend’s losses? There would be the financial costs, of course, but the damage to your firm’s reputation could be just as bad, or even worse. As cybercrime and identity theft grow, now—not tomorrow—is the time to make sure you have an ironclad plan to secure your company’s critical data. You don’t want to be part of the problem.

Stay in Compliance or Pay the Price

In fact, it’s becoming compulsory to toe the line when it comes to protecting private customer data. Over the past 10 years, legislators have created both federal and state laws to protect consumer data:

  • Key federal laws including the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and Sarbanes-Oxley Act govern the handling of financial, personal and medical records.
  • Forty-six states have data privacy laws.
  • Twenty-nine states enforce data disposal regulations for sensitive consumer information.

To stay compliant with ever-changing regulations, consider the services of a data backup, recovery and destruction partner that protects all types of data and media, both onsite and offsite, throughout the lifecycle. Look for these services:

  • Secure offsite tape vaulting and secure dedicated transportation: Although cloud-based services have gained attention as an effective way to store data offsite, tape backup systems are inherently more secure because they’re offline. Cloud data lives on third-party servers, exposing it to some risk of hacking and other online vulnerabilities. And tape-backup technologies boast a track record of decades of reliable performance.
  • Smart data retention: A retention schedule guarantees that your data is kept only as long as required by law and that obsolete records and other data are disposed of systematically. That way, you can eliminate irregularities, inconsistencies and other errors, which can reduce risk. A trusted information management partner can help you set up the optimal retention schedule for your business.
  • Secure media destruction: This is a job far too important for that single-wastebasket shredder in the corner. You need a comprehensive secure media destruction plan, including a tape destruction service if required, to ensure that when your data is no longer needed, it’s destroyed in a secure and compliant way. Again, a secure data storage and destruction partner can help you get it done.

Play It Safe

Ultimately, the biggest risk that cybercriminals pose to your business is not to your revenue but to your reputation. As companies both large and small have learned in recent years, bouncing back from a leak of confidential information is a time-consuming, embarrassing and costly process. Cut the risk by giving your data the security it needs from the time it’s created to the time it’s destroyed. You must be constantly vigilant—because data thieves never sleep.

The Definition of Secure Data Destruction

How do you destroy data properly? One way to be sure you’re doing it right is to follow the guidelines of the National Association of Information Destruction (NAID), an organization that sets standards for procedures such as operational security, employee screening and secure shredding.

Iron Mountain is the largest information-destruction company to achieve NAID AAA Certification, and that means its Secure Shredding and Secure Media Destruction services help you establish a defensible and repeatable process to prepare, transport and destroy your paper and electronic media, either onsite or at an offsite destruction facility.

Do you have questions about data backup and recovery? Read additional Knowledge Center stories on this subject, or contact Iron Mountain’s Data Backup and Recovery team. You’ll be connected with a knowledgeable product and services specialist who can address your specific challenges.

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