Imagine what could happen. You are enjoying a staff holiday party when the police come and arrest your receptionist, in front of the entire staff! That is just what happened to a Los Gatos, CA small animal practice. Their receptionist was accused of stealing clients’ credit-card information, which she allegedly forwarded to a boyfriend. Of course the practice then had to contact clients who may have been affected and had to deal with two clients who threatened to sue.
Or imagine that your computer system is hacked. Instantly your security has been compromised. Your records are exposed. You or your clients have lost their privacy. The importance of data security now becomes important to the existence of your business.
If you are responsible for a business, how can you tell your clients that you and they have been robbed? What can you say? What amends must be made? And how do you prevent it from happening again?
It could happen any time. You have clients who give you checks or their credit or debit card numbers, and in addition to good treatment for their pets, they trust you to protect their personal information. Craig Claney, the general manager of AVImark, observes that it is necessary to consider a team associate leaving the practice with a client list.
Exposure of such information not only is embarrassing, time-consuming to manage, and damaging to your reputation, but it can also be costly.
According to a study from the Ponemon Institute, the average reported data breach cost per individual compromised is $214. Multiply that by the number of client records you have, and then imagine writing a check for this amount, losing this money right off your bottom line! Besides, it is not only direct costs of a data breach, such as notification and legal defense costs, but also indirect costs like lost customer business.
That’s it for now.
Carolyn and John
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