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Cybersecurity & the Need for Vendor Agreements

If you own or manage a business, you should be concerned regarding your entity’s cybersecurity. With all the recent news regarding hackers obtaining confidential information, you can bet that your customers and clients are worried about how you are protecting their private information.

Protecting digital data became a “hot topic” when the Target breach occurred. Hackers obtained thousands of Target’s customer’s private financial information. Since then, the topic of cybersecurity has gained momentum as numerous other digital data breaches have been revealed. In fact, according to the New York Times, numerous businesses have started asking confirmation from their attorneys and other professionals that cybersecurity protections have been implemented to safeguard their confidential and sensitive information.

Business owners should not only examine their current security measures, but also the security procedures being used by your vendors. Vendors should not be surprised at your request and should be willing to provide evidence of its cybersecurity measures. By obtaining this information, you can reduce your liability and potentially hold your vendor accountable for any breaches. This knowledge will encourage your vendor to stay current on the tools available to protect your business’s private data.

Factors you should consider addressing with your vendors include:

  • Distribution. It is important to educate yourself about how the vendor distributes private information. For instance, private files should never be emailed to unsecure devices.
  • Networks. Ask your vendor to explain if their computers are linked to shared networks. This could make private data susceptible to hackers.
  • Access. Ask your vendor to provide a list of all employees or other personnel who will be given access to your company’s (and your customer’s) confidential information.
  • Protection. Request proof of the digital security tools that will be implemented by your vendor to protect your business’s private data.

Contact Leslie S. Marell for assistance in creating vendor agreements that will help ensure the safety of your confidential information, as well as lessen your liability if a breach should occur.

 

 

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