When someone thinks of cybersecurity, images popularized by Hollywood might come to mind — cyberpunk hackers, the sinister dark web, and government-level extortion, among others. But because these scenes seem so farfetched, it can be easy — and costly — to dismiss data breach risks.
“Small businesses need to take data security more seriously,” said Martiza Esqueda, COO and managing shareholder of Lone Star Shredding and Document Storage. “I have been warning our clients for years. Data breaches happen to everyone. Larger companies have been focused on protecting themselves for quite some time. Smaller entities need to follow their lead. A data breach is more devastating to them because they don’t have the resources to recover.”
If data breaches affect businesses like Google and Yahoo, organizations like MD Anderson Cancer Center, and local government entities, they can happen to anyone — including small businesses that handle personally identifiable information for their clients.
“All it takes is one mistake,” Esqueda said.
Mistakes can come from a number of unexpected sources, she added. You might be tempted to throw out your old, outdated smartphone the moment you purchase the latest model, for example, but even resetting your phone doesn’t completely wipe out all of your personal data.
“You’re walking around with all of your personal information on your phone,” Esqueda said — usernames, passwords, financial records, medical information, and much more.
The same goes for hard drives on computers. It’s essential to destroy them properly to ensure that the information they contain is safe.
“Copy machines have a hard drive on them,” Esqueda said. “Every single piece of paper that was copied on that machine is now stored on that hard drive.”
Lone Star Shredding and Document Storage includes hard drive destruction among the services it offers. Esqueda urges everyone from business owners to school districts to medical providers to the average RGV resident to take advantage of those services — everything you need to protect your and your clients’ information.
“Much like anything else, as time moves forward, as laws change, technology changes,” she said. “Services that would have traditionally been considered a luxury service have now become necessities — and vital in protecting your company’s future.”
Investing into a document storage plan with Lone Star Shredding and Document Storage instead of a self-storage unit has added benefits — security, compliance assurance, quick turnaround, and climate control.
“It’s changing the mentality about your risk versus your return when it comes to managing not only your information, but your responsibility for managing other people’s information,” she said.
There are many regulations governing data privacy, and those laws are always changing both on the national level and state by state. So if your company does business with organizations in other states, any data breach could be subject to a bevy of different regulations.
“It’s forever evolving. The legislation is often confusing and stringent, and the public is expected to understand and follow these regulations. Unfortunately, people don’t,” Esqueda said. “As people and businesses continue to fail at safeguarding data, the penalties get larger.”
That’s why Lone Star Shredding and Document Storage clients have access to DataLock Breach Reporting Service, powered by CSR Privacy Solutions Inc. CSR is an organization that focuses on privacy and data protection compliance for businesses.
“It’s basically like a tool kit for data breaches,” Esqueda said. “They hold your hand through a very tedious process to ensure you have taken the breach seriously and are staying compliant with federal and state regulations.”
Esqueda’s biggest piece of advice?
“Take it seriously. That’s the biggest cautionary tale. Take it seriously. It’s a real threat, real laws, real people, and it’s real loss,” Esqueda said. “The ability to lose everything is not as uncommon as many think. One set of fines can bankrupt your business.”
Lone Star Shredding and Document Storage offers two free shred days each year. Even the McAllen Recycling Center offers complimentary shredding services.
“There’s no excuse,” Esqueda said. “There’s resources for everybody now and no second chances when it comes to data breaches.”
Learn more about Lone Star Shredding and Document Storage at lonestarshredding.com.
Lone Star Shredding & Document Storage