How big a deal are data security breaches? The answer is – huge. In fact, according to a June 2016 ID Theft Center Report, over 12.5 million data records have been breached in the first six months of 2016 alone.
While data security breaches at companies such as Target, LinkedIn and Apple make the headlines, smaller companies are just as susceptible – or even more so. Here’s an example of recent data breaches in three small companies according to the ID Theft Center report:
- Southeast Eye Institute. Over 87,000 PII records were breached from the company’s database after its server was hacked.
- Stamford Podiatry Group. Over 40,000 PII records were breached from the company’s database after unauthorized persons with unknown and potentially malicious intent gained covert access to the company’s systems over a two year period.
- Integrated Health Solutions. Over 19,750 PII records were breached from the company’s database after “unauthorized access” of the company’s server was discovered.
Social Security numbers, credit card information and medical data may have been obtained in each breach. Here’s the bottom line – size does not matter when it comes to data security breaches. Whether you work for Apple or in a 10-person office, the fact is that nearly all companies come into contact with some sort of PII – and virtually no company is breach-proof.
Let Surgent Help You Understand How to Better Protect Your Organization and Advise Your Clients
Whatever type of personally identifiable information your firm or your client companies collect, it’s safe to say that data is eagerly sought by cyber criminals for use in fraud and identity theft schemes. Most security industry experts agree that data breaches are unavoidable. So, the question is not whether your company or client will be a victim, it’s when.
The key is how you react – both proactively and reactively – to mitigate the damage.
Surgent provides the latest in data and data protection insights for CPAs and financial professionals. View our current course list.