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 or more. 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." 16 | PEST WORLD > JULY / AUGUST 2016 KEY TAKEAWAYS ■ Back up important business data- regularly backup all the files on every single one of your business computers. ■ Establish and adhere to a consumer privacy policy-spell out 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 communications. ■ 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 breach response.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PestWorld - July/August 2016

Message From the President
Wearable Devices
Targeted Tech
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

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