Make Sure All Your Cincinnati Service Providers Can Answer This CRITICAL Question

In an increasingly virtual world, service providers in all industries collect, store, and transmit client information online. While this is undoubtedly more convenient, individuals are at increased risk of data theft. That’s why it’s necessary to ask all service providers a critical question about data security.

Have You Talked to Service Providers About Keeping Your Personal Data Secure?

These days, no matter where you go to receive financial, legal, or health services, the personal data you’re required to provide is stored, accessed, and transmitted in an online environment. No matter what kind of service provider you’re dealing with, there’s a pretty certain chance that they keep a virtual file containing all of your most important personal information. There’s no getting around it anymore: the days of on-paper records are pretty much obsolete.

The transition to virtual data storage has been a game-changer when it comes to convenience. Sharing information is much easier and gone are the days of having to fax or mail important documents or data to service providers. Because of this, services are often more streamlined and long wait-times have been greatly reduced. While service providers and clients have both reaped the benefits of this innovation, there is a significantly increased risk in storing and transmitting sensitive and confidential data online.

Even though virtualized data storage has made life more convenient, it’s also put individuals at a significantly increased risk of data theft. However, as virtualization continues to dominate, it’s highly unlikely that a return to more secure, on-paper personal records will ever be possible or desirable. That’s why we’re putting our cybersecurity expertise to work by helping individuals be more vigilant and proactive about the protection of their data.

The Most Important Question You Should Ask Every Service Provider You Work With

We provide cybersecurity consultation in Cincinnati to professionals from countless industries. No matter who we might be working with, we like to ask the same question: when’s the last time you asked your doctor, lawyer, or accountant about their client data security policy? The truth is, the professionals we work with tell us they’ve never even considered asking this question. Most individuals hand over their personal information to trusted service-providers without giving it a second thought.

We’re on a mission to help individuals be more vigilant about the protection of their data. The reality is, we hear horror stories all the time about individuals and organizations who have had their sensitive data hacked or exploited by malicious cybercriminals. But we want individuals to know that you don’t need to just sit around waiting to be hacked. When armed with the right information, you can take charge of your data security. How? Start by asking service providers the right questions about data security.

The next time you’re in contact with a service provider, have an upfront and direct conversation with them before you hand over sensitive data of any kind. This might include the personal information you hand over to a lawyer, the financial information you hand over to a bank or accountant, the health records you hand over to a healthcare provider, or really, the sensitive data you’re required to hand over to any service provider you’re involved with.

We get it. It might feel awkward to have a frank conversation about data security with your doctor, lawyer, or accountant. However, it’s absolutely critical that you make sure service providers understand that you take your data security seriously. Further, the conversation doesn’t have to be confrontational or overly complicated, and good service providers will welcome your questions.

Let us sum it up like this – anytime you’re required to give personal information to a service provider, ask them this one critical question: “how are you going to protect my personal and confidential information?” It’s really that simple to keep the lines of communication open. Still not convinced it’s worth the effort? Keep reading to understand why this is so important.

How YOU Became the Number One Target For Malicious Cybercriminals

Wondering why it’s so important to be direct with service providers about data security? The reality is, protecting client data is a critical responsibility that rests on the shoulders of any business, organization, or service provider that you work with. Regardless of the industry or the services they provide you, service providers are required to take reasonable measures to ensure client data remains secure.

Did you know that service providers in most industries are required to maintain strict industry and government compliance standards when it comes to cybersecurity? Additionally, they also must have clear and strict policies in place to protect your information. These policies and compliance standards should be made available to you so you understand exactly what organizations are doing to maintain a secure and compliant data environment.

You might be wondering why these organizations are so highly regulated and why they’re held to such high standards when it comes to data security. Check out some of the key reasons why individual data security is such a pressing concern – especially in an increasingly virtual service environment.

Here’s why you need to hold service providers accountable for your data security:

  • Hackers and cybercriminals are getting smarter and savvier than ever before – they are constantly evolving and developing new strategies for getting their hands on the most valuable data in the virtual world.
  • Whereas malicious cybercriminals used to target big organizations for huge payoffs, they’re now realizing that organizations have the resources to invest in durable and multi-layered cybersecurity defenses that are increasingly difficult to penetrate.
  • The result? Cybercriminals are adopting and following the money. They now realize that there’s more success to be enjoyed if individual end-consumers are targeted instead of highly-defended enterprises.
  • This means more and more cybercriminals are trying to use a variety of scams and blackmail attempts to target people like you: consumers who unwittingly hand over personal and confidential data to critical service providers in good faith.
  • Let’s explore what this might look like. Say a cybercriminal hacks into the network for a law firm, doctor’s office, accounting firm, or any other service provider that stores and transmits your personal data. Instead of going after the business itself by trying to penetrate enterprise-grade cybersecurity solutions in pursuit of a million-dollar payoff, they’re now focused on targeting the individual clients of these service providers.
  • Why? Largely because they know that it’s much easier to prey on unsuspecting individual victims by blackmailing them with the demand for cash in exchange for promising not to release confidential data. These cybercriminals realize there is a better chance of getting multiple smaller payouts from desperate and frightened individuals instead of one big pay-off from the company that is investing in major resources and training to prevent cybercrime.

This is why even though your service providers may be spending thousands of dollars to bring in expert solutions and protect their own data and business continuity, it doesn’t guarantee that your data is secure. Asking them to explain how your own data will be protected demonstrates that you’re not willing to be the new easy target for the cybercriminals they’re trying to mitigate.

Service Providers Owe You Transparency & Being Informed is Your Best Defense

We’ve talked a lot about the threats you’re up against, but don’t stress. We have a few final words of advice. Above all, remember to ask every service provider you work with to explain explicitly how they will make sure your data remains secure. You should also ask them to outline their policy for informing clients in the case of a data breach. The more you insist that service providers be transparent about data security, the more seriously they will take the protection of your personal information.

REMEMBER, it’s an immediate red flag if a service provider refuses to answer your questions or gives you vague information about their approach to data security. The fact of the matter is, in an increasingly virtual environment, there is no room for shortcuts when it comes to data security. If a service provider can’t answer your simple and fair questions, it’s time to find a new lawyer, accountant, healthcare provider, or business partner.

The best way for you to stay vigilant and keep your data protected is by staying consistently over-informed and remaining consistently over-prepared. Stay informed and up-to-date on existing threats and check-in with service providers now and then to inquire about data security updates. If you need support or want to learn more about how to prioritize your data security and take it seriously, never hesitate to reach out to the best team of IT security specialists in Cincinnati for more information.

Give us a call anytime at (513) 469-7887, or visit our website at www.4bis.com to chat with a live agent and book a data security consultation.

James Forbis
Written by James Forbis
Posted on: January 30, 2021