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Local Attorney Offers Advice To Help Companies Avoid Data Breaches

By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- This time last year, criminals must have been salivating as they watched the credit card numbers and other personal details of Target shoppers pile up. Analysts say the breach could end up costing that company a billion dollars. So, what should businesses have learned in time for this holiday, when it comes to consumer data?

Where there's security, there's someone looking for a back door.

"The answer is it's not a question of if, it's a question of when for most businesses."

Ted Schaer with the law firm Zarwin Baum DeVito Kaplan Schaer Toddy in Philadelphia advises owners not to go it alone. Bring in a cybersecurity specialist to assess risk to company and customer information.

But watch other third-parties.

"We are finding more often than not that breaches occur as a result of vendors of businesses. In the Target case, the security breach occurred through an outside HVAC vendor."

And if the worst happens, do you have an emergency plan at the ready?

For those of us shopping at this or any time of year,"Be aware of who you're giving your information to, giving as little information as possible, and constantly checking bank and credit card statements."

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