When you have a small business you rely on third party vendors for everything from your networking to your credit card processing. Unfortunately, 63% of data breaches come from third party vendors, and regardless of the source your company will be left holding the bill to clean it up. Data breaches cost more than money- they can irreparably harm your company’s reputation. The good news is that there are some precautions you can take to make sure third parties don’t compromise your business – you just have to know what to look for.

You wouldn’t go to a medical doctor who didn’t have a degree, so why would you contract your billing with someone who isn’t HITRUST certified HIPAA compliant? Checking for that one key certification can mean the difference between a thriving medical practice and one that goes out of business because of the sky high cost to clean up compromised medical records.

The average cost of cleaning up data breaches varies widely between different industries. Medical records can be an average of $355 to clean up for every record breached, while public sector records can be more in the neighborhood of $80 per record to resolve. The average cost of cleaning up breached records has gone up 29% since 2013, so preventing data breaches before they happen is crucial. And reputational damage is even costlier and takes longer to repair!

There are numerous certifications you can look for in a third party vendor to ensure they aren’t going to leave your company vulnerable to cyber attack. There are many different certification bodies based on industry, so making sure your contractor is certified in proper data handling techniques is crucial to protecting your business. Learn more about third party data breaches and how to screen companies to prevent them from this infographic!

Infographic: United Mail