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Monthly Archives: November 2013

Responding to a Data Breach

Network security crashNo company, big or small, is immune to a data breach. Many small employers falsely believe they can elude the attention of a hacker, yet studies have shown the opposite is true. According to the Symantec SMB Threat Awareness Poll Global Results, 40 per cent of the data breaches in 2011 were at small to mid-sized companies.

Data breach response policies are essential for organizations of any size.  A response policy should outline how your company will respond in the event of a data breach, and lay out an action plan that will be used to investigate potential breaches to mitigate damage should a breach occur.

Defining a Data Breach

A data breach is an incident where Personal Identifying Information (PII) is accessed and/or stolen by an unauthorized individual. Examples of PII include:

  • Social insurance numbers
  • Credit card information (credit card numbers – whole or part; credit card expiration dates; cardholder names; cardholder addresses)
  • Tax identification information numbers (social insurance numbers; business identification numbers; employer identification numbers)
  • Biometric records (fingerprints; DNA; retinal patterns and other measurements of physical characteristics for use in verifying the identity of individuals)
  • Payroll information (paycheques; paystubs)
  • Medical information for any employee or customer (doctor names and claims; insurance claims; prescriptions; any related personal medical information)
  • Other personal information of a customer, employee or contractor (dates of birth; addresses; phone numbers; maiden names; names; customer numbers)

Data breaches can be costly. According to the Ponemon Institute’s Cost of a Data Breach Survey, the average per record cost of a data breach was $194 in 2011; the average organizational cost of a data breach was $5.5 million.

Breach Containment and Preliminary Assessment

A breach or a suspected breach of PII must be immediately investigated and contained. Since all PII is of a highly confidential nature, only personnel necessary for the data breach investigation should be informed of the breach. The following information must be reported to appropriate management personnel:

  • When (date and time) did the breach happen?
  • How did the breach happen?
  • What types of PII were possibly compromised? (Be as detailed as possible: name; name and social insurance number; name, account and password; etc.)
  • How many customers may be affected?  Read full article >>

Talkin’ Turkey with ABEX!

Turkey DriveEvery family should have a Christmas dinner!

Like you, my colleagues and I in the Kitchener Conestoga Rotary Club (KCRC) believe every family should have a special Christmas dinner, including a turkey.  With the generosity of local businesses and our community, KCRC’s Turkey Drive has raised over $1,200,000 in support of House of Friendship’s Christmas Hamper Program, which provides a gift of food to families in need at Christmas-time.

What is the need in our community?

Here are the facts for the 2013 Turkey Drive.   We need to raise a minimum of $300,000 in the next four weeks to:

  • purchase 3,700 turkeys
  • supply food products for 4,250 hampers
  • recruit 600 volunteers to pack, deliver and distribute the turkeys and hampers
  • help make Christmas just a little better for over 12,000 in our community  

What will that cost?

KCRC’s 2013 Turkey Drive goal is $300,000. We know this is a big goal, but we believe if we all pitch in a little, we will reach this goal, and more importantly reach thousands of local families.  Each donation of $100 will feed a family of four (including a hamper and turkey).  For as little as a donation of $25.00, you can sponsor a turkey (all donations over $20 will receive a charitable tax receipt).  How many families will you help feed? How many turkeys can you sponsor?

How can YOU talk turkey?

Give to the Turkey Drive.  Donate securely online at www.turkeydrive.ca or make your cheque payable to KCRC Turkey Drive and mail to:

Jad McGregor
785 Bridge St., Units 5 & 6
Waterloo, ON N2V 2K1 

Thank you.

Gobble Gobble!

Study Shows Cyber Risk is a Growing Concern

Cyber CrimeBased on a global survey of over 500 executives, Lloyd’s Risk Index is calculated to show the top risks for businesses. Cyber risk has jumped from the 12th spot on the list of risks for businesses in 2011 to the third spot in 2013. Surprisingly, business leaders still remain unaware of just how devastating this kind of attack can be.

The cost of cyber breaches is growing each year, as is the number of times these attacks are occurring, which explains the jump on the list of risks for businesses—but still, business owners are reminded to properly assess the damage that cyber attacks could cause them.

Contact ABEX  for more information on data security and protecting your technological risk.



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