BBB Reminds Businesses of Importance in Data Security After New Target Findings

February 07, 2014

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – February 7, 2014 – As media continue to report potential new findings in the Target data breach, Better Business Bureau is reminding small and medium size businesses of the importance in taking proactive measures to protect their data. New findings may indicate that hackers could have infiltrated Target’s system through stealing login credentials from a third-party contractor, essentially making this company a victim of the breach as well.

“Many of today's consumers are beginning to search for tangible signs that a business is able to protect sensitive data and financial records, prior to doing business with them,” says Warren King,president of the Better Business Bureau of Western PA. “It is vital that companies of all sizes continue to work diligently to engage and secure customer trust through securing private data, to help ensure continued success.”

When looking to secure private data, BBB recommends the following tips for businesses:

  • Determine what makes sense for the type of business. This will be based on the type of data that is collected and stored, and the kind of resources in place that are managing that data. If a business keeps information about customers in several formats, management and employees should discuss these issues together to ensure all viewpoints are considered.
  • Inventory data. Inventory the type of data collected, stored and/or transmitted. Inventory how and where data is stored for each type and format of customer information. Inventory how data is moved and who has access to it. Take into consideration the type of business, and the stationary and portable tools employees use. This is an important part of the process, as it will help identify the ways that sensitive data could be inadvertently disclosed.
  • Evaluate costs vs. benefits of different security methods. Brainstorm different types of security procedures and think about whether they make sense for the type of information that is maintained, the format in which it is maintained, the likelihood that someone might try to obtain the information and the harm that would result if the information was improperly obtained.
  • Write it down. Type up the checklists created, the security measures being taken, and an explanation on why these security measures make sense. This will create the foundation for a written or revised security policy.

For more helpful tips on data security,visit BBB's Data Security -Made Simpler at



About the BBB System

BBB is an unbiased organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior.BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Reviews and BBB Wise Giving ReportsTM, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. To further promote trust, BBB also offers complaint and dispute resolution support for consumers and businesses when there is difference in viewpoints. The first BBB was founded in 1912. Today, 113 BBBs serve communities across the U.S. and Canada, evaluating and monitoring more than 4.5 million local and national businesses and charities. Please visit for more information about the BBB System.