How To Protect Your Firm Against A Data Breach

16 Aug

As a business owner you are probably regularly alarmed by news of data breaches and hacks that place other businesses at risk of losing customers and being faced with litigation. Unfortunately, storing data comes with its risks, but data is vital to the running of your business.

While you go about your daily business, unscrupulous online criminals are lying in wait. They’re waiting for the perfect moment to take advantage of a wrongful click, online mistake or poor management of your company’s sensitive information. Your customers will trust you to take exceptional care of their credit card information, banking details, full names, ID numbers and anything else that can be used for fraudulent activities or identity theft.

While data breaches can serious affect the lives of your customers, they can quite frankly destroy your business, so it’s best to be prepared and have preventative measures in place.

What you need to do is ensure that your firm is protected against data breaches and hacks. How do you do that? Here are a few suggestions:

Make sure staff don’t open suspicious looking emails. Staff should avoid clicking on links or downloading files from emails where they don’t know the sender, or which look suspicious.

Be aware of the following:

  • Don’t run macros for Microsoft office and disable macros on your office application (read this to find out why)
  • Don’t open files you don’t know in an email
  • Don’t click links on emails you don’t know in your spam folder
  • Contact your IT support person if you encounter a file that looks suspicious, or any suspicious pop-ups.

Create awareness within your business that customer data is sensitive and must be treated like an entity that needs protecting. Ensure that each staff member is accountable for the way in which they collect, store, share and use customer data.

Set access controls and limits in place. Make sure that you limit what data and information is available to which team members within your business. Protecting data and information in this way can be the difference between a secure system and a guaranteed data breach.

Keep security systems and measures current. Your data security system cannot be relied on if it isn’t up to date. Regularly upgrade and update security systems and ensure that each staff member knows how to use them correctly.

Develop and implement policies and strategies regarding data and how it is handled. Make sure that all bases are covered and that every staff member is trained in this regard. If you have a proactive attitude towards processes and procedures, it will provide your customers with peace of mind too.

Don’t neglect physical security. Yes, systems and platforms can be hacked online by the outside world, but often the risk originates from within the very walls of the business. Any hard copies of documents or data stored on your computers is also at risk. Make sure that personal devices are unable to connect to the network and that no data can be easily copied and removed from the premises.

Keep your sensitive data in the cloud and encrypted! How do you do that? With our online backup solutions at Soteria Cloud. We offer online backups that are quick and easy to complete, are extremely affordable and will protect your data off site in an encrypted format. It’s the perfect way to ensure that only the right eyes set sights on your important documentation and that no data can be physically stolen from your business premises.

Want to learn more about the options available to you when it comes to protecting your firm against a data breach? Contact us for further information and advice.

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