Simple Steps to Reduce Data Security Incidents

Data security has grown from a relatively minor issue facing most business owners to one of the most costly, time-consuming and prevalent forms of risk. Not only is data security instrumental in retaining the trust and confidence of clients, but in many instances it is also a legal mandate.

Research conducted by one data protection company indicated the average total cost per incident of data security was $6.65 million in 2008 and was likely to climb even higher. That included major nationwide corporations with millions of customer records at stake. To put it into a better perspective, the average incident cost $202 per compromised customer record, including both prior and former client lists. It’s a cost that can add up even for relatively minor data security leaks.

Most small-business owners drastically underestimate their risk for a data security breach. According to research conducted by Kroll Inc., the following were the most common causes of data security exposure:

  • 8% – disposal of files on computers
  • 8% – improper email usage
  • 8% – hacking
  • 4% – lost, missing or stolen laptops
  • 3% – web surfing/posting/other


Data security risk can be dramatically reduced by implementing a prevention plan and obtaining insurance.

Don’t wait for a breach to take place. Prevent it from happening by implementing a policy and employee training for critical areas.

Ask your agent about security and privacy insurance. Most commercial general liability and/or general liability policies exclude electronic data, so it’s important to obtain independent quotes to ensure that your small business is covered.