The survey found that business owners varied in their adoption of eight data protection "best practices" to help reduce a business's risk of a breach:
1. Lock and secure sensitive customer, patient or employee data - 48 percent
2. Restrict employee access to sensitive data - 79 percent
3. Shred and securely dispose of customer, patient or employee data - 53 percent
4. Use password protection and data encryption - 48 percent
6. Update systems and software on a regular basis - 47 percent
7. Use firewalls to control access and lock-out hackers - 48 percent
8. Ensure that remote access to their company's network is secure - 41 percent
The Hartford survey also found that nearly two-thirds of business owners (61 percent) believe a data breach violates trust and would jeopardize their relationships with customers, patients and employees. More than a third (38 percent) say they have a more negative opinion of companies that have recently experienced a breach, based on the companies' handling of the breach.
About a third of business owners (34 percent) say they would have difficulty complying with government notification requirements, and nearly half (47 percent) acknowledge it would be impossible for a small business to completely safeguard customer, patient or employee data.
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