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Data Breach – What Is It?

Data breach happens when one’s private identifying information including name, email address, address, debit or credit card data, driver’s license number, and SSN are put at risk either on paper or electronically.

Electronic data breach may be in numerous forms such as spyware, malware, hacking, skimming, inside breach or physical loss of payment cards or devices like laptops and computers. While the kinds of data breach differ, they all have one thing in common and this is unencrypted personal information that falls into jeopardy in the hands of fraudsters or thieves.

How to Protect Your Business from Data Breach

databreachEvery business that deals in debit or credit cards or electronic fund transfers, regardless of experience, transaction volume, and size, can be a victim of security breach. This is the reason why data breach protection is always necessary.

When compared to some countries in European Union and Canada where strong data protection acts were introduced for years, the US government hasn’t highly regulated or legislated data privacy. But, the forty-six states and some places like Puerto Rico have enacted legislation, which requires notification of the security breaches that involve personal information.

There are also partial federal regulations, which govern the storage, use, and acquisition of personal data in the US, yet it is up to businesses and individual merchants to implement such data breach protection programs. It’s also their responsibility to give technologies and policies to shield both their customers and businesses from potential devastating fallout generated by a security breach.

Best Practices to Achieve Successful Data Breach Protection

One of the very first steps to protect yourself, your customers, and your business from data breach is to adhere to PCI DSS, which stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. This is also known as PCI compliant. The PCI DSS’ requirements are concentrated on increasing the security for the transmission, storage, as well as cardholder data processing. Aside from that, businesses must strive for the tightest security against fraud and some data breaches through utilizing advanced and standard prevention and detection tools like those provided by some companies.

Other ways of practicing data breach protection are:

  • Validating and requiring complete order information like phone number and full number for each order before you proceed to the shipping process.
  • Changing your password and your security question and answer every forty-five to sixty days as a safeguard.
  • Using a 3rd party solution to keep the strictest security standards to submit transactions to payment gateway.
  • Monitoring transactions, especially those from other countries, with an eye towards possible fraudulent practices like a number of tractions or orders where delivery and billing addresses don’t match.

Data Breach Protection: Computer-Based Security

Machines like computers can be weak links that contribute to data breach protection. The standard computer security practices you can consider are:

  • Installing a firewall that will monitor external connections.
  • Installing an anti-virus software, such as Norton Internet Security. This should be updated regularly and installing or downloading all security updates in a timely manner.
  • Sharing access to the network drives and other computers only when needed.
  • Avoiding requesting or sending confidential information through unsecured methods including online chat sessions or email. If you got a request, always confirm your request through phone before you respond.
  • Storing confidential or sensitive information separate from the web servers in an encrypted database that’s not connected online.

Data breach protection is the best defense against fraud. So, make no mistakes and always consider it as your top priority to protect yourself and your business. If you think you can’t handle data breach protection, it is also a good idea to consult or ask for professional help. A lot of companies are now offering data breach & identity theft protection solutions. When choosing a provider, ensure that it is reliable and has been servicing the industry for several years. Even if new companies claim the best services to offer, experienced providers can always make a difference, especially if you want to get the best value of what you have spent. In this way, you will get the highest possible level of data breach protection.

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