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Data breaches are a major problem for companies in today’s digital world. Major brands of all kinds have experienced them, and the results are costly. Many companies have reported expenses in the tens and hundreds of millions resulting from data breaches.

One major source of these data breaches is third-party vendors. Even if you take proactive steps to safeguard your data and comply with applicable regulations, it doesn’t mean the third-party providers are doing the same.

Before you trust any third-party vendor with your sensitive information, you need to ensure they are taking the proper steps to safeguard your data.

Data Risks From Third-Party Vendors

More than half of all data breaches in the U.S. are the results of third-party relationships (PDF). When these types of breaches occur, the costs to repair the damage can run nearly double compared to a normal breach. For example, third-party breaches cost the U.S. health-care industry $23.7 billion per year on average. Fifty-six percent of all health-care organizations have suffered a data breach from a third-party vendor in the past two years.

There have been more than 50 major security breaches caused by third-party companies reported so far in 2020 across companies and institutions in banking, financial, insurance, health care, schools, government, retail and restaurants. Some of the biggest names in the country have fallen victim: GE, Experian, Jack Daniel’s, Citrix, Mariott, Bank of America, T-Mobile, Chubb, Amazon, eBay, Shopify, PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla, Boeing and more.

When it comes to print and mail vendors, working with the wrong vendor can put your data at risk. You simply can’t afford to have your data security compromised. You should never have to ask, Is my data is secure?

What Is Data Security?

Data security means that companies have put in place specific controls, policies and procedures to protect sensitive customer data from unauthorized access, accidental loss (data leakage) or destruction.

When companies fail to secure their data, the impact can be crippling. The average cost to repair the damage from a data breach is $3.92 million (PDF) as of 2019. For companies falling victim, the loss from reputational damage and customer defections have caused even more damage.

How to Avoid Data Breaches from Third-Party Vendors

Just because the breach happened to a third party, it doesn’t absolve you of the ultimate responsibility. In most cases, you’re legally responsible for the acts of your vendors when it comes to caring for your data.

To avoid compromising your data, it’s crucial that you follow the proper security protocols. A few steps can mitigate the damage to your reputation and minimize the ensuing costs of fixing the problem, including fines and penalties.

  • Utilize security tech tools preemptively. These tools have been shown to create as much as a $3 million reduction in the impact of cybercrimes.
  • Mitigate your security risks by choosing to work exclusively with certified vendors that can demonstrate compliance with your security requirements.
  • Establish protocols for what information third-party vendors can access.

Safeguarding Your Data

When trusting a print or mail vendor with your information, make sure they have taken the proper precautions. The best of the best will have invested the time and money it takes to create a secure environment, and they’ll be able to prove it by displaying the appropriate certifications.

United Mail takes the confidentiality and security of your proprietary information seriously. That’s why we have taken the steps to receive HITRUST CSF certification, SOC 2 Type certification and ISO 9001:2015 certification.

HITRUST CSF Certification

HITRUST CSF certification (PDF) demonstrates that an organization’s mail and fulfillment services systems have met key regulations and industry requirements, and are managing risk appropriately. This is especially important for Hitrust direct mail m arketing companies providing services to healthcare providers and others that need to safeguard PHI (protected health information) and ePHI (electronic protected health information). United Mail is a CSF certified vendor and experienced in complying with all HIPAA regulations.

SOC 2 Type 2 Certification

SOC 2 Type certification (PDF) is granted only after an extensive security audit. It warrants that companies demonstrate a substantially higher level of security and operational visibility to safeguard data and privacy.

ISO 9001:2015 Certification

ISO 9001:2015 certification is the universal quality management standard for companies and their customers, built on accountability throughout the organization.

United Mail Takes Data Security Seriously

Don’t put your company or your data at risk. When you are looking to work with a print and mail vendor, only work with one that will take security as seriously as you do. Whether your project involves data security with direct mail services, printing, digital marketing or billing and document management, you can rest assured your data is secure when working with United Mail.

To learn more or get a quote for your print and mail project, contact United Mail today.