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The September/October issue of Information Management, a publication of the American Association of Records Managers, reported that cyber-crime is adversely impacting economies around the world. The article went on to say that businesses worldwide have been suffered damages between $375 billion and $575 billion dollars.
If you watch the evening news, you easily recall the recent attacks on Target, Home Depot, and Sony Entertainment, businesses which one would expect to employ some of the best cyber protection. That tells us the cyber-criminal element continues to probe around the clock — and they are good at what they do.
A recent article in Forbes reports on the 2012 Data Breach Investigations study commissioned by Verizon. Researchers in the study examined 855 data breaches. The results of the study showed that small businesses bore the brunt of these breaches: 71% of the attacks were on business with 100 employees or less. The 2013 report reports the trend is continuing as small business attacks are on the increase.
Besides the costs in dollars, cyber-crime has cost as many as 200,000 jobs in the United States and 150,000 jobs in the European Union.
As more business functions move online, and consumers connect to the internet, cyber-crime will continue to grow, according to the article, Cyber-crime hampers innovation by reducing the rate of return to innovators and investors.
The article advocates governments to begin serious, systematic efforts to collect and publish data on cyber-crime so that firms can make better, more informed decisions with regard to risk management, policy, and related records management practices.
Closer to home, the best protection is off-site backup. Other measures include timely secure-and-certified records destruction, frequent password changes, diligent personnel screening, good physical security, and deciding who needs-to-know.
David Reagler, MBA, CRM
President, Arkansas Records Management