PestWorld - July/August 2016 - (Page 16)
Protect your business and customer
data from cyber thieves
BY AMY BELL
DATA BREACH. YOU'VE PROBABLY HEARD THE FRIGHTENING phrase
thousands of times, but if you think it could never happen to your
pest management company, think again. As cyber attacks continue
to grow more common and increasingly sophisticated, every single
business is at risk.
In a data breach, critical business information or customer data is
lost because of an accidental release or stolen through a criminal act,
such as theft or hacking. The Identity Theft Resource Center reports that
there were 783 recorded data breaches in 2014 alone. Of course, the
most publicized incident that year was the massive Target data breach.
Hackers stole 40 million consumer debit and credit card numbers from
the major retailer during the holiday shopping season.
Not only do these incidents cause irreparable damage to a company's reputation, but cyber attacks are also incredibly costly. According
to estimates by the British insurance company Lloyd's, cyber attacks
cost businesses as much as $400 billion a year. This steep price tag
includes direct damage plus post-attack disruption to the normal
course of business. Because most cybercrime incidents go unreported,
some researchers say this figure is actually closer to $500 billion
This is why cyber security should be a top priority for every business, including pest management companies. "Our client base is
our company," emphasizes Court Parker, COO of Bug Busters USA.
"Whether your client information is in the cloud or in a computer,
you've got to protect it. Because if you don't have your client base,
you're out of business."
So what's your best defense against a data breach? It all comes
down to education, preparation and careful planning. "Every company,
large and small, that collects consumers' personal information is at risk
of a data breach," points out Megan Delaney, principal with Dentons
US LLP, the world's largest law firm. "The best thing a company can do
to protect itself is to face this new reality and prepare."
PEST WORLD > JULY / AUGUST 2016
■ Back up important business data-
regularly backup all the files on every
single one of your business computers.
exactly what data you're collecting
from customers and how you are
safeguarding that data.
■ Put together a data breach action
plan-include a detailed written
response checklist, including investigation procedures and customer
■ Keep track of the latest legislation-make sure your company has a
clear understanding of the data security requirements and rules governing
how a company must respond in the
event of a breach, or risk running
afoul of a host of watchdogs at the
federal, state and local levels.
■ Consider cyber security insurance-
offerings typically include business
credential monitoring, ongoing training
and threat assessments, as well as offers
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PestWorld - July/August 2016
Message From the President
Down With Data Breaches
Proving Your IPM Service With a Handheld Generated Report
PesTech: Choosing a Mobile Device
Heard From the Hill: Department of Labor Releases Final Overtime Regulations
Marketing Corner: Communicating to the Public About Mosquitoes
Ask the Expert
Membership Programs: Start a More Meaningful Conversation
Mythbusters: Does Social Media Really Work for My Company?
Calendar of Events
Index to Advertisers
PestWorld - July/August 2016