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According to a study by the Ponemon Institute, 39 percent of data breaches in 2010 involved third-party service providers such as outsourcers, contractors, consultants and business partners. As many companies have learned, data breaches are expensive, both in terms of actual costs as well as potential legal liability and negative publicity. An important data breach prevention measure is to have in place effective safeguards to protect personal information and to require your company’s vendors to do the same. In addition to being sound risk mitigation, it may be required by law.