Preparing for a data breach

A couple of weeks ago, Text 100's security practice, which covers everything from IT to homeland security, hosted a roundtable event titled "Are you ready?...

A couple of weeks ago, Text 100's security practice, which covers everything from IT to homeland security, hosted a roundtable event titled "Are you ready? An in-depth discussion on data breach readiness." Among the panelists were the former global head of information security for Amazon.com, Jim Maloney and a security analyst from Tower Group, George Tubin.

With identity theft such a huge consumer concern and the capacity for sensitive information to be leaked inadvertently over the course of an ordinary workday, businesses are responding by beefing up the amount of money they're investing in security efforts. According to Chris Barker, VP of Text 100 Seattle, who was also on the panel, security is the fastest growing segment of all technology, with spending possibly consuming 20% of the budget in the next 18 months.

"[Companies] are realizing [there are] far bigger ramifications to their business... financial and brand impact," says Barker. "For small companies, it has the potential to put them out of business."

With so much worry on the security subject, some may fall into a "helplessness mentality."

"Businesses are overly aware and then decide there's nothing they can do," says Steve Collins, account director of Text 100 Boston.

When a breach does occur, communications should be timely.

"There's a balancing point where you're keeping people informed without causing anxiety," says Barker. "Make sure the communications are actionable-what's happened and what's being done."

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