Keep Your Business’ Data Well-protected
03/08/2020 — by Daniel William Carter
A data breach can be one of the worst things to happen to a business. In the modern age, it is becoming more common as hackers become more sophisticated. Data theft can also be extremely lucrative, giving people incentive to mine your company’s precious information.
There is every reason to tighten up security. Here are some ways to ensure you are doing all the right things to avoid the costly problem of losing your own, or your customers’ data.
Types of security risks businesses face
Where do these risks stem from? The image most people have is of hackers, but there are plenty of other ways that data can also get into the public domain.
Some data breach statistics are really quite scary for large companies. Over the past decade there have been 300 major breaches involving over 100,000 records stolen from companies. The worst saw 446.5 million records exposed .
Here are some of the common security risks:
● Poor Cybersecurity
You should ensure you have cybersecurity that is very tight as a minimum requirement. Servers should be secure.
● Staff Getting Bamboozled
Phishing emails, ransomware and other threats. All it takes is for one member of staff in the network to allow something like this onto their machine. If you aren’t protected then it can cost a huge amount of time, effort and money.
● Staff Breaches
If staff have access to the data it’s possible they could steal it themselves. They may even have been paid to do so.
● Inadequate Passwords
This is definitely one of the most common areas where businesses get stung. If employees have poor passwords, their accounts can be easily hacked. Then anything they have access to can be seen by others.
● Accidental Sharing
This is surprisingly common. People might accidentally share a password or send a spreadsheet with sensitive data on it to someone who is not supposed to see it. Suddenly, the information is out there and the business’ data security has been breached.
These are just some of the ways that sensitive data can leak.
Essential Security Practices
So, what can you do about it? Here are some of the security practices we all should be implementing in business to make sure that we aren’t left with a lawsuit:
- Keep business accounts away from personal accounts. Some companies allow their staff to use their own email accounts, phone numbers and details, and this means that they can’t be tracked as easily. Keep it all protected within your own system.
- Hire a cybersecurity expert (or get one in as a consultant). The world of cybersecurity is constantly evolving. There is always a battle to keep people away from your data and getting a security expert on the team can be a very good investment.
- Inform and educate your staff. This is one of the best ways to make sure your data isn’t under threat. Teach them about email communications and how data breaches take place. This way they can try and prevent it in their day-to-day operations.
- Force password changes. Make your staff come up with a new password every couple of months to ensure that they don’t get easily hacked into. You should require the use of special characters and numbers within.
You can use the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) checklist. This helps you to identify issues and learn the best practice for your business. There are also tips on what happens if the worst occurs and there is a breach. This checklist is suitable for both small business and large ones, and can offer you plenty of support.
In the End
To keep data protected, make sure you involve your staff. Allowing people to make their own accounts and not using the best-practices of cybersecurity is asking for trouble. You could easily end up with huge issues on your hands and having to pay out compensation to people whose data has been shared.
Take the right precautions, keep up with the cybersecurity industry regularly and you’ll keep your business in a much safe position.
This article does not constitute legal advice.
The opinions expressed in the column above represent the author’s own.