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Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Don't delay action in the wake of a data breach

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Data breaches are an unfortunate reality for many companies. Hardly a week goes by without news breaking of yet another organization losing a large amount of sensitive data, either due to a cyberattack or negligence on the part of the firm's employees.

Whatever the cause, these incidents can have a powerful impact on the company's ability to thrive. Yet when these events happen, it is critical that organizations do not panic or do nothing, hoping it was a one-time occurrence. Instead, companies must take immediate action, such as investing in a high quality secure file transfer solution, to protect data assets going forward.

Consider, for example, the South Carolina Department of Revenue. As USA Today reported, this department experienced a major data breach four months ago, which resulted in the exposure of millions of citizens' Social Security and bank account numbers. However, despite the scope of this incident, the state has taken few steps to protect itself going forward, leading to strong criticism of the government.

"One would think they would be scrambling and rushing to get their data protected, but they're not," explained Senator Kevin Bryant, USA Today noted.

"We're going to be experiencing this data breach for the lives of our children, and we need to be doing more to make sure it doesn't happen again and to correct it," said Senator Vincent Sheheen, according to the news source.

If the state does not act, even more of its citizens may be put at risk of identity theft and fraud.

These criticisms could just as easily be applied to a private firm that experiences a data breach. While a single data breach is damaging, a subsequent incident can be catastrophic. Taking action to correct unsatisfactory policies, such as investing in a high-quality secure file transfer solution, can help to greatly diminish the likelihood of additional data breaches.