Your customers trust you with their data, and they expect you to elook after it. Although you would never do anything to purposely put your customers’ data at risk, you are more likely to experience problems if you do not take all the necessary precautions. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to reduce the chances of a data breach.
The Serious Repercussions of a Data Breach
One of the main concerns for companies when it comes to data breaches is that they could receive large fines if they did not take all the necessary precautions to protect the data. These fines can be huge, and they could be ruinous for a smaller business.
Don’t assume that data breaches only happen to large companies. We are constantly reading about large data breaches in the news, such as this one involving US Healthworks, but small businesses can also be targeted, especially if you store credit card numbers or accept online payments.
As well as exposing you to potential fines, a breach can also affect your company image. Customers may not trust you any longer, and if the story gets out to the media, this could do huge damage to your reputation.
For these reasons, you must take all the right precautions. If you don’t, and you get affected by a data breach, you might end up having to hire a lawyer like criminal defense attorney Purav Bhatt because it is your responsibility to protect your customers’ data.
Key Tips for Protecting Your Customers’ Data
There are a number of ways that you can reduce the risk of a data breach, and many of them are simple to implement.
You should also know exactly what information you collect from your customers, as well as were you store that information, how you use it, and who has access to it. It may also be a good idea to question whether you really need all of that data.
For any data that you collect, make sure you protect it. Even if you have excellent policies in place, if your network is open to an attack, your policies won’t be any use. This involves using an encrypted database to store any information that you keep on your customers. Without strong encryption practices, you are making it easier for hackers to steal the data. Rethink your protocols and update your encryption systems regularly, at least every year, to ensure that you are fully up to date.
You should also ensure that you have enterprise level security software in place to protect your systems from viruses and malware. Keep this up to date, as well as keeping your operating systems and browsers up to date at all times. You should also have a good firewall in place to provide extra protection against hackers.
Always use strong passwords to provide access to sensitive data. Google has some detailed information about creating strong passwords that you may want to read, and this is a simple way to prevent hacking. Make passwords as long as possible and completely random, and consider storing them in a password management application.
You should also have a policy in place for your staff to follow. This could include rules about not opening attachments in emails and making sure they password protect any devices they take out of the premises. If you provide them with smartphones, you may want to ensure that the devices have a remote wiping feature in case they get lost.
When employees leave the company, make sure you change any passwords they had access to. Also make sure you do background checks on your employees who handle customer data.
Customer Data Protection Is Your Responsibility
Your customers trust you to look after their personal data, and if you fail to do so, it could have serious consequences for your business. Not only could the resulting fines be devastating, but your image could also be badly hit and it may be hard to win back the trust of your customers. So follow the above tips and always ensure you are doing everything possible to keep your customers’ data secure.
As a former Cook County States Attorney, Mr. Bhatt has the experience to handle felony and misdemeanor cases, traffic cases and other legal matters as well as an understanding of the prosecutions goals and objectives. During his time as a prosecutor, Mr. Bhatt successfully tried hundreds of bench and jury trials related to weapons charges, drug offenses, animal crimes, violent crimes, thefts and gang related offenses. He enjoys sharing his insights online.