As a business owner, you entrust your employees with sensitive and valuable data numerous times and in various ways each day. Your customers, likewise, entrust you with their data and personal details.
While you might think that the entire system is set up to work flawlessly, the reality is that data security in your business may not be quite as effective and perfect as you might think. In fact, you may face numerous risks and issues with data security on a daily basis that you may not be aware of and that may even put your customer’s vital data at risk.
When you understand more about these potential risks, you can take action to improve data security in your company.
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1. Employees Lack Education and Training
According to a 2015 survey performed by Insider Risk Report, as many as 93-percent of valued employees surveyed, who had access to a company’s vital or sensitive data, stated that they used a high-risk activity that put that data at risk. This could have included something as simple as using a weak password or not changing a password frequently enough or sharing a password with someone who they shouldn’t have shared it with. While these may have been unintentional or seemingly harmless risks, they were nonetheless risks to the company.
As an employer, you must observe and understand what your employers are doing wrong in the area of data security. In addition to observing risk factors in this area, you must take the additional step to correct the behavior and to adequately train them in the proper data security methods.
You should be aware that most of your employees are not maliciously trying to circumvent safety and security protocols, and most of your team usually wants to take the proper steps to keep data secure. However, they may not be aware of what the right steps are. It is up to you to properly train them and to provide them with the tools to keep data secure in the most time-efficient ways possible.
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2. Outdated Technology
At times, new technology is introduced rapidly, and it can be challenging to keep up with all of the changes and innovations as they occur. More than that, some business owners have a false conception that security hinders business growth. This type of thinking actually carries a certain risk because it does not promote the use of new and more advanced security features that may currently be available and that may be most effective for the business owner to use.
As a business owner, it is important that you stay updated as much as possible with the latest innovations available in the marketplace. You should always ensure that your hardware and software products are properly supported and compatible with the security features that you are using. Spend ample time learning as much as you can about authorized access to data, taking screenshots, analytics, forwarding data files and more before implementing the use of new technology and security features. This will help you to make full and ample use of security features without concern of negative impacts associated with its use.
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- Keeping Sensitive Data
The unfortunate reality is that all businesses have sensitive data that malicious sources may want to target. Regardless of the size of your business or the type of business that you run, there is a possibility that your business may be targeted through a ransomware attack.
For example, a public institution, such as a hospital, police office, school or government office, may have access to a huge number of public records. This could include public records that contain profiles on the general public and that could be breached for malicious purposes. Another example involves e-commerce businesses, such as luxurious brands. A ransomware attack could target the high-end customers of a luxury brand so that the customers’ personal information and, with that, material possessions are at stake.
Any time a customer’s vital and sensitive data is jeopardized, the person stands to lose a considerable amount of money, and fraud is always a concern as well. Your primary goal should be to protect the privacy of your customers. Therefore, you should avoid collecting data that you do not need, and you should not store data that you do not need for too long.
More than that, you should encrypt all data that you have possession of in the most secure fashion possible. Generally, this involves the use of SSL certificates or other highly secure formats. Remember that a data breach can impact your business’s reputation as well. Customers may no longer trust your business if you cannot safeguard their vital and sensitive data. This could have a long-term and negative effect on your business.
Business security is of vital importance regardless of the niche or industry that you work in. You need to focus on all aspects of business security, and you must take steps to safeguard data at all levels. While you need to train your employees about data security and how to properly safeguard and encrypt data at all levels, you also need to take steps to prevent ransomware attacks and use SSL certificates with vital customer data. Now is the ideal time to take a closer look at your data security efforts and to make upgrades and enhancements. If you notice any areas that need to be improved and enhanced, now is the time to do so.
Jasmine Williams covers the good and the bad of today’s business and marketing. She was rummaging through her grandma’s clothes before it was cool and she’s usually hunched over a book or dancing in the kitchen, trying hard to maintain rhythm, but delivering some fine cooking (her family says so). Tweet her @JazzyWilliams88.