It’s a dramatic question, but it’s one that bears out. Data breaches can easily destroy businesses, to the point that it has been found that the majority of businesses that experience a major breach will close their doors within two years. Aside from destroying customer and client trust, costing money to fix, and exposing vulnerability, you could even run into legal trouble. As a result, here are a few ways that you need to take data protection more seriously.
Ensure your site is secure
Most businesses gather data from customers using things like sign-in forms on their websites. If you do that, you have to know (and let them know) that it is entirely secure. To that end, you should make sure that your site has a good security certificate, and you have to have clear notice as to what kind of data you’re going to be saving and how you’re going to make use of it, in accordance with recent data security regulations.
Invest in security
Simply put, you have no business collecting sensitive data if you’re not going to invest serious money in protecting it. With the help of a cyber security professional, you can make sure that all of the right authentication requests are in place, that you are able to detect breaches ASAP, and that you can close down access and quarantine data to protect as much of it as you can. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you are closely controlling which employees have access to which data, as the threat can often come from within the business as well as without.
Stop keeping sensitive information on paper if possible
Despite the fact that many of us are relying much more on digital data collection and storage, there are still plenty of businesses that are not paperless. Leaving the wrong paper trail can result in making it easy to not only steal that data physically, but also to allow criminals to commit fraud using information that they pick up, even from your trash. As such, if you’re not going to go paperless, make sure you have secure physical storage for your most critical documents and that you use shredders for anything and everything that you plan on throwing out.
Be mindful of your team, too
As mentioned, breaches can come from inside the company as easily as they can come from outside of it. It’s not always on purpose either. Phishing scams and other hacking techniques take advantage of your team’s lack of training to get access to your systems. Your team can also write down passwords that are stolen, share more information they should, and otherwise open up all kinds of vulnerabilities in your system. To that end, IT security training can help them become more aware of the dangers out there and what they can do to avoid and prevent them.
With the tips above, you can begin to take the steps that you need to prevent data breaches in your business.