Data Security Breaches
What is a Data Security Breach?
Unfortunately, the concept of data security breaches is a commonly discussed issue among organizations that handle large amounts of information. Whether the company is a marketing organization, a government agency, or a clinical trial recruiter, the names, addresses, account numbers, protected health information, and other data that may be contained in their mailing lists are prime targets for hackers and criminals of all types. These organizations must take definitive, strategic measures to protect this data and to work with partners that are committed and equipped to do the same.
Spectra, an end-to-end third party fulfillment provider, is SOC 2 and HIPAA compliant and has spent over 20 years providing secure mailing services for organizations in many different industries. These industries include healthcare, where the data involved is some of the most sensitive–for example, medical diagnoses and insurance account information–and demands the most robust data security measures.
Causes of Data Breaches
How do data security breaches happen? In most cases, an incident falls into one of two broad categories. The category that most people think of is a deliberate attack, in which hackers defeat an organization’s security measures and steal the personal information of those in the database. Other times, however, a breach is simply the result of personnel failing to follow security protocols and accidentally exposing information to unauthorized agents.
While the causes of data breaches are varied and not all breaches can be prevented, in most cases a robust data security protocol and employee training are sufficient to discourage attacks.
Data Breach Consequences
If you are required to send breach notification letters, let Spectra help accomplish this task securely and within the strict time frames dictated by federal law.
When a data breach occurs, there are specified measures that an organization must take to notify the individuals whose information was exposed, work with appropriate government agencies, and take steps to mitigate the damage if possible. As a print and fulfillment provider with a specialty in data security, Spectra can assist clients with the mailing of notification letters following data security breaches. These notifications themselves require security measures, including pressure seal mailing, opaque envelopes, and other special features.
Recommended Practices to Avoid Data Breaches
The specific measures that certified organizations use to prevent data security breaches apply to both digital and physical (or “offline”) handling of data. For data that is stored digitally, a strong firewall system and individual password protected access are essential. It may also be necessary to keep computers storing data off public networks so that any hacking attempt is unable to reach the data.
Data stored and used in physical form–for example, printed mailing lists, documents, and pressure seal mailers–is sometimes even more difficult to protect and track than digital formats. Access restriction and secure document destruction following the use of data are key measures that SOC 2 certified organizations use to prevent data from falling into the wrong hands.
Data Protection at Spectra
At Spectra, we use these and many other best practices to protect the data delivered to us by our clients. Computers storing sensitive data are isolated and air-gapped to prevent unauthorized access, and protocols for receiving, printing, using, and destroying or returning data after a project are fully implemented only by Spectra employees that require access.
Spectra: Experienced and Trusted
With more than 20 years of history building a reputation for security excellence, Spectra is an ideal third party print and mailing partner for organizations that demand a high degree of protection for their data.
The data protection solutions we have in place follow today’s best practices, and our staff regularly undergoes training and ongoing education in order to learn about new threats, new technologies, and new ways to keep protected information safe. While each data breach solution is important, even more important is the commitment of the people using those solutions to adhere to them and follow protocols, and at Spectra we take that commitment very seriously.
Benefits of Data Protection
A partnership with Spectra is very profitable for clients that need to reach large numbers of people with direct mail campaigns. Our quality controls, mailing list verification and accuracy check measures, and in-house advanced print facility make each of our clients look great to their members, customers, and prospective customers. Beyond these practical benefits, however, the data protection benefits of working with an experienced, SOC 2 and HIPAA certified partner like Spectra help clients avoid the damage of a data security breach.
We would love to explain more about the data protection solutions that we apply to the mailing lists, databases, and other information that we store and use on behalf of our clients–just email us or call us to communicate with our experts.
Secure your Data with Confidence
Choosing a third party provider to handle your data is a great idea–but only if that provider maintains data protection solutions that are fully capable of keeping your data safe while it is in their possession. There are any number of “horror stories” about data security breaches as a result of mailing services using overstuffed envelopes, window envelopes, and postcards that leave personally identifiable information and protected health information (PHI) exposed during the mailing process. At Spectra, each data breach solution is carefully implemented in accordance with SOC 2 and HIPAA standards to ensure that we treat your data just as carefully as you do.
Our Commitment to Data Protection
Along the fulfillment chain from printing to mailing out your materials to customers or members, there are many safeguards in place to prevent accidental or deliberate exposure of protected information. Here are a few of those safeguards:
- Digital assets are kept off public networks. When highly sensitive data is stored on a computer or server within our facility, it is kept on our private server and in an area where an outside network cannot reach and connect to it. This guarantees that the only personnel able to view and use the information are those with physical access to the computer or server where the data resides.
- Printing staff are fully trained in data protection solutions. While we are producing your printed materials personalized to each addressee, the staff handling your project are qualified, educated, and trained to comply with all HIPAA, SOC 2, and other data security protocols applicable to your specific type of data.
- Destruction or return of data after project completion. Discarding data, whether in digital or physical form, is a critical step in our data protection solution. We use approved secure destruction methods or return the data to the client with the same attention to security as at the beginning of the job.
Contact Us For Secure Mailing Solutions
As a fully integrated partner for secure mailing solutions, Spectra maintains the data protection solutions that you deserve and expect. Your organization, whether in the healthcare, insurance, government, or other field, can depend on Spectra’s commitment to every data breach solution necessary to keep your protected data safe. Get in touch with us today to learn more about data security at Spectra.