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U.S. is Home to the Costliest Data Breaches in the World

A recent report released by the Ponemon Institute shows that the U.S. is the costliest country to have a data breach in. The report, “The 2013 Cost of a Data Breach: Global Analysis,” found that the total cost per data breach in the U.S. came in at a whopping $5.4 million.

The study also cited that negligent employees or contractors were a frequent factor in the data breaches. This highlights the importance of effective policies and procedures and proper employee training. “In the U.S., those organizations that hired consultants to help them contain and resolve the incident were able to reduce the cost an average of $13 per compromised or exposed records,” according to Ponemon. Keep in mind that one data breach can easily involve thousands of records. Not only does proper training and policies help prevent data breaches by keeping employees and contractors aware of the information they are handling, but can also reduce fines from government bodies and contain the damage.

So what can you do to ensure you are protected?

Below are a few easy steps you can take to protect your organization’s records:

  • Find a reputable 3rd party consultant to complete a security assessment. It is important to hire a reputable outside company to look at your organization and its current policies on data security and disposal in an objective manner. Look for companies that are properly certified in information destruction and handling.
  • Certified 3rd party consultants can properly develop policies and procedures around information disposal. As required by law, written policies and procedures around information disposal must be in place. By hiring an outside organization, you can be sure that all the necessary facets are covered.
  • Don’t forget the training. Once policies and procedures are created, employees must be trained. In order to ensure that employees understand and will follow your procedures, proper training must occur. This training should cover the policies and procedures as well as the contact individual within your organization for questions or comments about the policies.

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