News & Resources

Maine companies learn how to protect consumer data

Jan 11, 2011 Matt Roesly

When the grocery store chain Hannaford, one of the largest companies in Maine, experienced a data breach in December of 2007, more than 4 million credit and debit card numbers were hacked, reports WCSH-TV. The theft was shocking for the state's business community, particularly because Hannaford was considered a leader when it came to data security. But Maine business owners recently got some tips about how to better protect consumer data from public threats and thieves who may be lurking within a business at the Data Security and Management in Global Commerce conference hosted by the University of Southern Maine. One of the topics discussed in length at the conference was the installation of encryption systems that can guard against the theft of credit and debit card numbers. The news source spoke to Bernstein Shur, who employs more than 100 attorneys and has encrypted thumb drives on all of his company's laptops to keep data safe. According to the website IT Today, companies should implement a clear list of directives as their first line of defense against data breaches. Organizational policies, for example, should be explicit, and procedures should be clearly explained to employees. Staff members should be trained in all policies and procedures. In addition, a background screening for each employee and contractor who deals with private customer information can help identify potential inside threats.