The hacker or the company? The latter of course. Saving money by not investing in secure software certainly backfires on businesses leaves your systems open for anyone to enter. An open invite for all to enter and view your personnel information and client data.
It’s no wonder why over half the internet population are tweaking their personal data when signing up for services, such as their mobile number and date of birth. All in an attempt to secure their personal data.
After the 2015 TalkTalk scandal where amateur hackers accessed customer data resulting in a £400,000 fine, it’s no surprise why 90% of people fear that companies could lose their data.
All blame points to the company, never the hacker which commits the actual offense.
After such a breach, customers are adamant to cancel their contracts to move to another provider. The bad taste left behind, means that no offer will ever be powerful enough to entice them back in, even if it means saving hundreds of pounds each year.
Trust encompasses everything.
Which is why companies must make every investment to maintain their reputation. Losing customers can have a detrimental effect on the future for any company.
The online digital marketing and advertising industry worth over hundreds of billions of pounds globally is still making its data vulnerable to hacking.
How Can I Make My Data More Secure?
1. Install a Secure Security System
This is a basic requirement for any business and it goes without saying. Safeguard your workplace from the outside in. Check if your rented office space has CCTV and whether it points at your offices. What security systems are in place during out of hours?
On a technological level, your computer systems should be updated with the latest version of protection you have on license. Protect your network from malware (malicious software). Install firewalls to guard against suspicious websites.
2. What confidential assets does your company own?
Assets are not confined to just the physical commodities. Your business would be worth nothing without it’s clients. Identifying your data assets from intellectual property to individual systems and databases will help you understand what client data you need to protect to prevent any security breaches.
Any data on competitors, or sales analysis needs to be protected just as you would your client’s data. Locking away your most prized data will save your business should anyone ever try to obtain it.
3. Authorisation and Access Levels
There should be a senior management of staff or Senior Administrator to ensure all levels of access to the database are relevant. Sensitive information should only be accessed by the relevant members of staff that sit at the right hierarchy of the organisation.
Most data breaches in the workplace are carried out internally. So it’s no use having giving an employee in the post room access to the Finance departments accounts on the internal system.
4. Password Protection
Staff should be given basic training on how to choose and store passwords safely. The same password shouldn’t be used multiple times for different applications. If a hacker finds out the password to one system, they can easily access other systems.
5. Protect Software
Think proactively in case an employee makes an accidental, unintentional breach. If an employee leaves their laptop on a train, is it secure enough to prevent any hackings?
Make sure location services is enabled on all devices in order to track it in the event of a loss.
6. Obtain an SSL certificate
Having https in your url signifies your site has a secure SSL certificate , (also a Google metric) and is safe for users. Https sites safeguard data from unauthorised hackers by encrypting sensitive and confidential data, including credit card information.
SSL ensures authentication, so sensitive data is only sent to the correct server, not an illegal server. Google also ranks https sites higher than http sites.
Taking responsibility for keeping your customer data safe should be number one priority from the first day of opening your business.
The new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) coming into effect on 25 May will create a new regulatory force to legally bind companies that use, protect and store client data. Initially, obtaining their consent is mandatory. By law, any breach of data by your company must be reported to the Information Commissioner within three days.
It is not just client data that is at risk, employee data is also protected by the new legislation. Employees and clients alike will have new rights to include:
- The right to be forgotten
- The right to have data edited
- The right to know how their data will be used
- The right to request subject access
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